Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) came out second best in Scheldeprijs on Wednesday but the American sprinter was determined to look on the bright side after a mixed spring campaign. Farrar has yet to win an individual race this year, and this was his 14th top-ten of the season, but with his form good enough to push him into potentially winning positions it should only be a matter of time before he breaks his duck.
Farrar came into Scheldeprijs in decent form. He was part of the early break in last week's Tour of Flanders, and along with Andreas Lund, he spearheaded the move which gained over five minutes on the field.
While Farrar refused to blame the long day in the saddle for his second place it clearly had some affect. He spent Monday and Tuesday riding recovery on his local training roads in Gent but admitted he'd felt sluggish in the first hour of today's racing.
Luckily his legs sprung to life in the second half of the action and with support from his Garmin-Barracuda team he began his mission to win. Having won the race in 2010, Scheldeprijs is one of his biggest wins so far in his career.
"Today was one of my goals for the spring, two years ago I won and I knew that my condition was good so I wanted to try again. The team really rode super today, we rode for a sprint and the work Robbie [Hunter], Koldo [Fernandez] and Jack [Bauer] did in the last 20 to 30 kilometres was perfect," he told Cyclingnews.
"I had perfect position all the time, I had perfect position for the sprint, too, it was just that Kittel was that little bit faster than me. I thought that I was clawing it back at the end but it was just too late and he was the strongest guy today."
Heading into the final two kilometres Farrar became somewhat isolated. Having used teammates in order to keep him out of trouble – a wise move - he was left with just Jack Bauer. The New Zealander gave him a final dose off assistance, dropping him off just behind Rabobank's sprint train but from then onwards Farrar was forced to fend for himself.
With Scheldeprijs out of the way Farrar must raise himself for one last push. Paris-Roubaix is a special race for Garmin. Last year, under mounting pressure, they captured one of their most famous wins when Johan Vansummeren played his cards to perfection and soloed away for the win. This time around Garmin has less pressure but expectations are still high. Sep Vanmarcke has been their spring star and in Sunday's race Farrar will turn to support both Vanmarcke and Vansummeren.