While the mad blood is flowing during these hot days of the Giro d'Italia's opening bunch skirmishes, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) displayed admirable calm after a frustrating finale to stage two in Parma.
Farrar appeared to be well-marshalled by his teammates at the front as the race entered the final kilometre, but a moment of confusion on the final turn with 600 metres to go saw his train overtaken by stage winner Alessandro Petacchi's Lampre-ISD lead-out. Boxed in and forced to pick his way through the bodies, Farrar had to settle for 7th place.
Speaking to Cyclingnews on the steps of the Garmin-Cervélo bus after the dust had settled on the melodrama of disputed finish, a disappointed Farrar was cool-headed in his assessment of his own day and refused to place the blame on his teammates.
"We hit the front when we wanted to, we just fell down a little bit in the last five or six hundred metres and the other teams just went over the top of us," Farrar said. "I think it was just a bit of mistiming. It wasn't the easiest day in the end as it was very warm and I think everybody was just lacking a bit of punch in the end. We were out there for six hours."
With sprint finishes at a premium in this mountainous Giro, however, Farrar is well aware that Sunday's stage constituted something of a missed occasion.
"I came here with the objective of winning a stage and this was one of the four opportunities," he said. "I didn't get this one, but there are still three more, so hopefully I'll get one of them.
"It's frustrating today, but there are still more opportunities. I think there will be three more for sure, then a couple of others, like tomorrow's stage, where it could be a sprint but it also could break up as there's a climb right before the end."
While Farrar was left empty-handed, the sprint finish headlines were dominated by the duel between Petacchi and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad), with the Manxman claiming that Petacchi impeded him in the final 200 metres by veering from his line. Farrar had a box seat view of the sprint, and he felt that there was little justification of Cavendish's initial post-race complaints.
"I saw Petacchi sprint a dead straight line, so I guess he was pissed that Petacchi won," he said matter-of-factly.
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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.