Team Garmin-Transitions’s speedster Tyler Farrar used equal parts smarts and strength to become the first American to win the mid-week Classic Scheldeprijs in Belgium.
A fast start and the usual break began the race, and after the Argyle Armada pitched-in with many other teams the break’s advantage was slowly whittled away. In the final 10km, with the race all together, Farrar moved smartly to the front to stay out of danger and ready to set-up his sprint.
After a top-ten result in Gent-Wevelgem, a win in De Panne and a top-five in the Tour of Flanders, Farrar turned his focus to Scheldeprijs. “This was one of my objectives along with Gent-Wevelgem, so it was an important race for me.” Farrar said. “I didn’t feel great, I was suffering all day but when it’s one of your objectives and you’ve got seven other guys giving 100 percent for you, that’s extra motivation.”
On the day, he added “It was a hectic race as a whole, with a dangerous break that got away. We had to chase really hard to bring that escape back. The team rode great today. The guys couldn’t have done any better. I’m really thankful.”
Farrar timed his sprint perfectly, jumping on the right combination of wheels — from his regular training partner Wouter Weylandt’s to Tom Boonen’s, and them coming around Boonen in the final 100 meters. Farrar held off a late charge from Robbie McEwen for his second win of the season.
Looking ahead to Paris-Roubaix, Farrar explained that he’ll be there riding for his teammates. “We have two guys who have finished in the top five of Paris-Roubaix, so I’ll be riding for them on Sunday. I’ll do everything I can for them as they’ve done for me in the past week.”
Matt White, Competition Director for Team Garmin-Transitions was thrilled with the result.
“After the team controlled the race from the start, Tyler produced a brilliant sprint to take victory in Scheldeprijs,” said White. “We’ve achieved everything we came to Northern Europe to achieve and we’re looking forward to Sunday.”
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