Tyler Farrar claimed the biggest win of his career at the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday, finishing ahead of Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) in a bunch sprint.
In a nervous finish on the narrow circuit in Hamburg, the Garmin rider tore through the middle of the pack to cross the line first, ahead of the Dane and Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram).
The day’s big escape came from Euskaltel rider Sergio de Lis and Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale). The pair built up an advantage of nine minutes, but the catch was made 45 kilometres from the finish, as the sprinters’ teams began to get organised.
Philippe Gilbert escaped on the Waseberg, but enjoyed little freedom from a concerted peloton chase. Other efforts involving Nicolas Roche, Stuart O’Grady and Fabian Cancellara were also kept comfortably at arm’s length before being reeled in, ready for the bunch sprint.
25-year-old Farrar has broken through into the top echelon of the sport this year, showing himself to be consistently capable of matching the world’s best sprinters.
He collected four top-three stage placings in the Tour de France, unable to find a way past Mark Cavendish. Until yesterday, that elusive big-name win was noticeably absent from his palmarès.
After several near misses in recent months, Garmin will also be pleased with arguably their finest win of the year to date.
This triumph will also give Farrar a handy morale boost ahead of the Vuelta a Espana, where he will be hunting a maiden Grand Tour stage victory.
Vattenfall Cyclassics, 212km
1. Tyler Farrar (Usa) Garmin-Slipstream in 5-30-38
2. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo Bank
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram
4. Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step
5. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Davide Vigano (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
7. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
8. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas
9. Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre
10. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas all same time