Seattle bike fans have been watching Wenatchee WA native Tyler Farrar for years, wondering how far his potential could carry him. He’s won many of cycling’s top honors, but so far a Tour de France stage win had eluded him.
That all changed today — America’s Independence Day, appropriately enough — when the 27-year-old sprint specialist bested the field in the Tour’s third stage, a flat 198-kilometer run from Olonne Sur Mer to Redon.
Farrar has played second fiddle in sprints to Mark the Mouth Cavendish, the Manx Missile. He’s had some tough luck against Cav along the way as well. But today his Garmin-Cervelo mates positioned Tyler perfectly, and it was Cavendish who had to bang his bars in frustration as his HTC leadout train fell apart in the closing seconds.
Farrar is a real gentleman and credit to the sport. His win could help draw mainstream Americans back to the Tour in the absence this year of legendary Lance Armstrong. In any case, it is a well-deserved triumph for a guy who has waited a long time and worked tirelessly to improve — all the unlikely way from quiet Columbia River roots.