The Garmin-Transitions team produced its best lead out in Montargis but came up empty handed as Mark Cavendish and HTC-Columbia burst through the middle of the pack to bounce back and take their first win in this year’s Tour de France.
After Tyler Farrar’s terrible crash and subsequent micro fracture in his wrist, it was unclear who the Garmin-Transitions team leading out. Julian Dean came second on stage four, acting as a replacement for Farrar. But this time, the American felt stronger and tried to give it a go in the sprint. Unfortunately it didn’t come off, with the American only finishing tenth.
The double Giro d’Italia stage winner is still in the hunt for his first Tour stage win despite a left wrist, sprained his left elbow and multiple cuts and bruises suffered in his crash on the downhill of Stockeu on stage two. He also crashed during Sunday’s first stage finish in Brussels.
“The plan this morning was for somebody to sprint,” lead out man Robert Hunter told Cyclingnews. “During the race, Tyler told us he felt good and he wanted to sprint. He’s our leader, that’s what we all agreed on, so we sprinted for Tyler. David Millar rode in the front until 1.2km to go, then it was myself until 300 metres to go, then Julian Dean.”
“The lead out was perfect but I messed up,” Farrar admitted. “This morning I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sprint again so quickly after my crash. During the race I didn’t feel too much pain, so I tried to sprint.”
“It’s only my fault if I didn’t make it today,” Farrar continued. “I chose the wrong side of Julian Dean to sprint on.”
The American sprinter felt a guilty for not having finished off the great work done by his teammates but he was also relieved that he is back sprinting again. “There will be other opportunities to come,” he said.