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World Championship: Farrar's late attack falls short but ignites US crowd

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Tyler Farrar (USA) committed to his final lap attack

Tyler Farrar (USA) committed to his final lap attack (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Taylor Phinney and Tyler Farrar of the United States of America

Taylor Phinney and Tyler Farrar of the United States of America (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Tyler Farrar (USA) in the bunch

Tyler Farrar (USA) in the bunch (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tyler Farrar (United States of America)

Tyler Farrar (United States of America) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

American Tyler Farrar has never been known as a breakaway specialist, the majority of his professional wins coming in bunch sprints.

But racing the World Championships at home in front of a raucous partisan crowd, he tried to turn the tables on the peloton with a two-man move that survived for most of the final lap.

Farrar was hoping the move could survive over the top of Libby Hill so he would be with the front group when it came to the line.

"I was suffering all day on Libby Hill, so I knew if I waited and waited I would be in the second group," he said. "I just didn’t have the legs. But on the other climb, it was so short and powerful, no one could drop me there and then the final climb is the final climb.

"My tactic was, well if they hesitate just long enough that they catch me with the front group at the top of Libby Hill, then I'm in with a shot there."

Farrar's tactic ultimately didn't pay off, but he was satisfied with US team's performance, and with Alex Howes finishing 12th, it was a good show for their fans.

"It was an insane day out there," Farrar said. "I had goosebumps from start to finish. It was nuts. It was deafening on the climbs. Really unbelievable as an American with the World Championships in America. I've never had six hours on the bike go by so fast."

The team went into the race without a well-defined leader. Instead they had a general plan to race aggressively and play off some of the bigger, more dominant teams.

"I don't think we had a top favourite in this race, so it was important for us to put on a good show and race aggressively, and we did," he said.

"We had Ben [King] riding the early break, Taylor [Phinney] getting out front, and I gave it a go at the end. I think Alex ended up 10th or 11th, so it's not a total wash. I think all things considered we rode the best race we could."

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Pat Malach

Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.