Farrar to France.
This morning Tyler Farrar, Edvald Boasson-Hagen and Matthew Goss all have big fat smiles on their faces. They are going to the 2015 Tour de France, baby!
When the trio rolled the dice by signing with African pro continental squad MTN-Qhubeka, they knew they were taking a risk. They were all stepping down from their top dog WorldTour squads Garmin, Sky and Orica-GreenEdge, teams with guaranteed invitations to this years’ Grand Départ in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Farrar and Boasson Hagen admitted that last season they missed riding in the big show, Le Grand Shindig, the Tour de France. So they took their chances that a trip to South Africa would get them back to France.
The odds were good but nobody knows for sure that they have a spot in the greatest show on race bikes until ASO boss Christian Prudhoome sends the gift basket with the baguette, camembert, nice bottle of Bordeaux and those printed invites.
Now, they are back in the hunt and don’t think their motivations aren’t sky high. How much would Farrar kill to have a stage win in front of his old Garmin team? Even a third place podium spot next to Kittel and Cavendish would be sweet and the highlight of his season.
Same goes for the quiet one, Norwegian Boasson-Hagen. He didn’t get the kind of maternal love he needed from the Sky juggernaut or rather he probably got too much attention in that clinical results-or-else way. Edvard needed to escape from the sports scientists and marginal gain gurus and clear his head. He needed fresh air and he found it on another continent. Should he pull off a stage win, you might actually hear him scream like a wild banshee. He might start stripping off his kit and dance naked in the street.
Then there’s Goss, another rider looking for a return to form. Maybe he and Farrar and Gerald Ciolek don’t all make the trip but how much would he like to make an impression at the Tour? A few days in the maillot vert would give him a new lease on life and maybe get his mojo back.
Team principal Douglas Ryder is already delirious with joy. “When I received a text message from Christian Prudhomme saying welcome to the Tour de France asking me to call him back, I simply could not contain myself, I shouted to my wife and then things started going crazy. I have been waiting my whole life for this news,” said Ryder. “We will not only ride in the Tour, we will compete and we will have the support of the whole continent behind us.”
The MTN-Qhubeka hash tag is #bicycleschangelives. Maybe Farrar, Boasson-Hagen and Goss will change their fortunes at the 2015 Tour de France. Welcome to the show, fellas.