VeloNation spoke with Tyler Farrar before Paris-Roubaix about his successful early season and where he hopes to go from here.
Just 25 years of age, Farrar has marked himself out as one of the big stars of the future. He hit a real purple patch last season, taking a string of big results including the Cyclassics Hamburg, three stages of the Benelux Tour, stage 11 of the Vuelta a España and two stages plus the overall classification in the Circuit Franco-Belge.
This year, he appears to have hit a high level of form early in the season and he feels that this bodes well for the months ahead. Aside from a good ride on Sunday, his goals for 2010 include stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, as well as the world road race championships in Geelong, Australia.
Farrar took time out from his final preparations for Paris-Roubaix to speak to VeloNation about a range of topics, including the Scheldeprijs victory, his Classic season, his plans to start three Grand Tours in 2010 and sprint rival Mark Cavendish’s relatively quiet start to the year.
VeloNation: Congratulations, Tyler, on what was the first-ever victory by an American rider in Scheldeprijs. What was your reaction to grabbing the win?
Tyler Farrar: Well, that was one of my big goals for the spring, because it is one of the semi-Classics that can be a sprint. So obviously that was one I was targeting. It is great, it is the first really big semi-Classic I have won in the spring. I won Vattenfall last year but that was in the fall, it is a different race. This is pretty exciting, I am really pleased with it.
TF: It was a little chaotic in the last few kilometres – a lot of teams were trying to take charge, but no-one could quite get control of the peloton. There were guys going everywhere, but for whatever reason I had pretty good luck and I was always able to find the right wheels. I jumped on QuickStep when they were leading it out for the last kilometres, and I had a pretty smooth ride in to the finish.
VN: It was a little peculiar the way Quick Step did it as Boonen led out his team-mate Wouter Weylandt instead of it being other way around. Do you think this was a bid to repay Weylandt back for help in other races, or what was going on?
TF: I think so, yes. Tom is one of the favourites for Sunday so it probably helped to go into Wednesday not having the stress of trying to win, just knowing he was there to do the leadout for someone else. It is a very different approach when you are racing that way. His big goal is this weekend.
VN: You had a victory in De Panne as well, so things have clicked for you this season. They also clicked for you last year, in that you had a purple patch over the summer, several months after you started racing. Was it a case of you taking a while to get the necessary form, or was it also about luck and confidence coming together at the same time…in other words, what is the process that goes into getting a run of successes?
TF: Well, it seems like once you get the ball rolling, it is easier…you get the confidence and it is easier to keep winning, once you get started. As you said, I had a really good stretch last year. It usually takes me a while to ride into form…most years I am usually best at the end of the season.
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