The second stage win of Tyler Farrar at the Giro d’Italia in the southern town of Bitonto, proved that he made the right decision in choosing to ride in Italy instead at the Tour of California. While America’s biggest stage race being moved to May, earlier in February the Garmin-Transitions Team stayed uncertain as to whether Farrar would ride the Giro or the Tour of California.
In Bitonto, Farrar stated, “We decided to come here to win stages and it’s working, so I’m happy with the choice we made of riding the Giro for stages and California for GC. We split the team in two for seeking different goals and to win a second stage at the Giro is amazing.”
Farrar is now racing his fifth Grand Tour and has won three stages and collected a string of ranking spots. A year ago, it would seem unlikely for he had never even begun a Grand Tour. At 18, Farrar turned professional riding with Jelly Belly prior to his enrollment with HealthNet and then with Cofidis in 2006. He had six years of professional experience before he got to ride his first Grand Tour. Farrar spilled his frustrations that at age 22 while with Confidis he was not in the best shape and at age 23, he claimed, “I was ready but the team told me no. At 24, my new team, Garmin, wasn’t yet getting invitations for all the big races. I was frustrated to not ride a Grand Tour.”
In the last 12 months, Farrar has earned the title of the world’s “Most Improved Sprinter” when he started last year in all three Grand Tours, the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta. On five occasions, he was on the top five at the Giro, while five times in the top 5 of stages of the Tour de France winning second twice on both occasions. At the Vuelta a Espana, he was in the top 5 of stages five times and here he won his first Grand Tour.
At the Giro this year, he garnered two stage wins. About his being the best sprinter in the world is still undetermined. “I’ll leave it up to the journalists to say who is the best sprinter these days, I don’t know because we’re at different races at the moment,” Farrar explained concerning about Mark Cavendish who was at the Tour of California and won the first stage.
Farrar was just so happy to share his triumph with Julian Dean and of course with his teammates. He revealed that he thought of relaxing and letting Dean win the stage, “I couldn’t ask for a better lead out,” he explained that it wasn’t him at all, but Dean made an extraordinary effort at the uphill finish. He added, “I was going to let him ahead and take the win but I’d seen Sabatini was coming behind me and I had to keep the win in the team.”