Tyler Farrar of the Garmin Chipotle team won the sprint of stage 1 in the Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne in France. His Garmin team kept the break of the day in check and reeled them in in timely fashion, with six kilometres left to race.
Farrar took over the leader's jersey, which the team will now try to defend. However, Farrar already knows he won't be able to take out the overall victory, as he is scheduled to drop out on after stage 2. This step is necessary, as Farrar is heading to the World Championships in Varese, Italy.
Christophe Laurent, Tom Peterson, Mike Friedman and Kilian Patour were those pulling early to bring back the escapees, which had gotten a four-minute lead. One of the crucial riders in bringing the break back later was Steven Cozza. On the team's website he recounted the events of the day. "We were going flat out at this point [with 20km to go] and I was going cross-eyed. We didn't catch the three escapees until about six kilometres to go."
Cozza then was confident to leave it up to his speedy teammate to get another win for the team. "After that, Tyler took over. He gave the final sprint everything, as always. I had a hunch he was going to win today. It felt so great to cross that finish line and hear the announcer shouting Tyler's name. I couldn't help but throw a fist into the air."
Despite the scheduled dropout of Farrar, Garmin hasn't given up hopes on the overall win just yet. If Tom Danielson can be reasonably close before the next to last stage on Saturday, things would be looking good. Danielson is expected to do well in the 23-kilometre time trial from Saint-Germain to Saint-Savin.
Cozza concluded that the team is still hungry. "This season is far from over for us guys in Europe. We have a lot of races and work ahead of us. For a few of us, our last race will be in Italy on October 18th. Until then it's game on.
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