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Farrar finds strength to continue sprinting

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) expects Thursday's 11th stage of the Tour de France, finishing in Bourg-lès-Valence, to see the only bunch sprint of the Tour's second week, with the American keen to resume his role as the team's protected sprinter.

The fractured wrist suffered by Farrar on stage two initially saw him swap roles with his lead-out man, Julian Dean. He said on Wednesday evening, at the finish of stage 10 into Gap, that he expects to be able to challenge Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia), Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) and the other top sprinters however, thanks largely to the anaesthetising effects of adrenaline.

Being the team's main sprinter, said Farrar, "was the plan coming in to the Tour, so I would assume it's the plan tomorrow.

"The wrist is okay," he continued. "It's still broken but it's holding up alright. We've been taping it up and doing everything we can with therapy. It's not going to get better during the race but at least we can maintain it, and look after it.

"I can get out of the saddle okay - at least for a few moments at the end of the race, with the adrenaline flowing. I feel it afterwards, but in the heat of the moment I'll be fine."

While his teammate David Millar's lonely struggle to finish stage 10 has been well documented, Farrar also had a difficult day on Tuesday. "Dave had an epic but it was just a really hard day for everyone," he said.

"It's always a little strange after a rest day, and we hit the [Col de la] Columbiere and the body just wasn't firing on all cylinders yet. Things came round later in the stage for me, but it was a rough day for sure.

"I've looked at tomorrow's stage in the race book," Farrar explained, "and I think it's probably the only opportunity in the second week for a bunch sprint. I'll certainly be trying for a stage win - it's what we came here for."

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Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar (HarperSport), won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes (HarperSport), was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

He writes on sport, specialising in cycling, and is a regular contributor to Cyclingnews, the Guardian, skyports.com, the Scotsman and Procycling magazine.

He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 1998 Tour de Langkawi

His next book, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, will be published by Yellow Jersey in May 2011.

Another book, Sky’s the Limit: British Cycling’s Quest to Conquer the Tour de France, will also be published by HarperSport in June 2011.