There are several different schools of thought as to what is the best route to the World Championships. Many have utilised the three-week Vuelta a Espana, while others have headed to race in Canada. Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka), however, believes that the eight-day Tour of Britain is the perfect way to prepare for the big day.
“Given the Worlds course, I think that the Tour of Britain is the best race there is to get ready for it,” Farrar told Cyclingnews at the start of the second stage in Clitheroe. “You get a nice big workload of eight days of racing and then you have two weeks to bounce back. I’ll fly directly to America the day after this day ends so I can get over the jet lag as much as possible and be ready.”
Riding the World Championships in your home country is an opportunity that not many riders get. With only six places available in the USA’s men’s squad, places are at a premium for Richmond but Farrar has already secured his place in that line-up with one more rider to be named.
“It’s a huge honour. As an American, to have the World Championships in America, it’s a one in a life-time opportunity and it really means a lot to me to just make it onto the team and get to the start in a few weeks. It would be better if we had nine riders of course but with six we’ve still got quite a strong squad. Everyone is super motivated in the team and we hope we can put on a good show at the Worlds.
It is the MTN-Qhubeka rider’s first time at the Worlds since the 2011 road race in Copenhagen, where he finished 10th in the bunch sprint. At 31, he is also one of the oldest on the team - with Brent Bookwalter taking the role of elder statesman by a few short months – and is one of the most experienced in the line-up. His place in the team is largely down to his classics expertise, a style of racing the Belgian resident favours heavily.
“I think that it’s great. It’s really a Flemish classics type course. It’s not crazy hard but it’s not totally easy either. It will be a real power sprinter that wins there,” he explained. “I’ve certainly done a lot of classics in my career at this time. I’ll probably sharing my experience. It depends a little on how Taylor Phinney is riding. He’s still coming back from injury but he’s riding well. We’ll see in the lead-up to it. We haven’t really sat down and hashed it out yet but we’ll see.”
There are some more immediate goals for the American as he targets a win at the Tour of Britain, though he will have to share his opportunities with fellow sprinters Gerald Ciolek, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg.
“The goal for the team is to win a stage here. We’ve brought a really strong squad and we’re certainly capable of it so I just hope that by next Sunday we’re walking away with at least a stage win. Then we will see with Daniel and Serge how the GC pans out. We’d love to get one of those guys up there as well,” said Farrar.
“I’d love to get a good result along on stages myself, we’ll see. We have a lot of fast guys here so we’re sharing around the role of sprinter but there are a couple of days where I’d like to take my chance and get up there to test my legs and see where I’m at.”