Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) pulled on the bright red points jersey at the Giro d'Italia on Friday thanks to picking up four precious points at the only intermediate sprint of the stage.
Thursday's stage winner Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) had the jersey but Farrar was equal on points and he timed his effort perfectly to win the dash to the line in Aulla.
He was dropped on the final climb of the stage to Marina di Carrara and finished 11:30 behind Matt Lloyd but that didn't matter. He was called to the podium to pull on the jersey and collect the flowers and kisses from the podium girls.
"We looked at the profile of the stage and we knew that there wasn't much chance of me making it to the finish. It's more important for us that we got the points jersey, so we really targeted the intermediate sprint and try and get the red jersey. It worked out. It's really important for the team to have it," he told Cyclingnews before heading to the Garmin team bus.
"I tried to stay in the bunch on the climb but it was too much for me and so I came in with a group. But it's not a big deal."
Farrar has a total of 43 points, with Graeme Brown (Rabobank) second with 40 points and Pineau is third with 39 points.
All the sprinters will be out of the points at the next two stage finishes in Montalcino and Terminillo, so Farrar now hopes to keep the jersey for several days.
"The next two stages aren't for the sprinters but we'll see if I can do well in the sprints in Cavi De' Tirreni and beyond that. I can hopefully pick up some more points. It's a good objective to have."
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