Tyler Farrar is making steps towards beating the king of sprints, Mark Cavendish. The American of team Garmin-Transitions won his second stage of the Giro d’Italia in Bitonto today and now, looks ready to be rival number one for Cavendish at the Tour de France in July.
Farrar and Garmin have built a team that can take on Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia train. Last year, Farrar lost out to Cavendish at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, but this year, the team has strengthened its lead-out train and aimed at reducing its errors.
“Last year, the mistakes I made were tactical. There was a lot of times I was still learning to sprint at the top level,” Farrar explained after his win.
“We said from the beginning we were building a lead-out train, now it is clicking and coming together.”
HTC’s lead-out train ruled the Italian roads last year, collecting three wins for the rider from the Isle of Man. He skipped the Giro d’Italia this year to give his team greater publicity at its home race, the Tour of California.
Farrar, to be fair, is not facing all of cycling’s top sprinters in Italy. However, he will have his chance at the Tour de France, when he will go head-to-head with Cavendish for the first time since March.
To be ready, Farrar will likely abandon this Giro d’Italia as Cavendish did last year. He is currently wearing the red jersey of best sprinter, but he may find few reasons stay and fight since there are only two sprint opportunities in the next 11 stages.
“When I came here my plan was to take it day by day,” continued Farrar. “I have the points jersey and it changes things a bit. I will fight for it.”
Farrar must be careful to save his energy for the Tour de France. There the title of ‘fastest sprinter’ will be up for grabs and there we will see if he is now faster than Cavendish.
2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit