The Battling Buddhist is back.
Garmin-Transitions Tyler Farrar won the Vattenfall Cyclassics race in Hamburg, beating Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and Edvald Boassan Hagen (Sky). Fractured wrist healed, full speed ahead, bring on the Vuelta and Mark Cavendish.
The rider from Washington State, who now lives in Ghent, Belgium, is a rare athlete who’s both fast and curious. He’s traveled the world, speaks French and Flemish and has an appreciation and understanding of Eastern philosophy. Farrar has two tattoos, one that says May all Be Happy and the other, Inner Peace.
Can you imagine Mark Cavendish with that kind of ink on his arm? Maybe something like “Boy Racer” or “Who’s Andre Greipel” but nothing Buddhist about loving kindness.
Twisted Spoke had the opportunity to spend 15 minutes talking with Farrar on the first rest day during this year’s Tour de France. He’s thoughtful, down-to-earth, extremely approachable and seems to be missing any signs of the dread super-star ego.
The only question anybody has about Tyler Farrar is the following: Is he too damned nice? Doesn’t he need that nasty edge, the men streak, the bit of “look-at-me-I’m-the-king attitude that so many top athletes have?
Based on our conversation, we’d say Farrar has given that a far amount of thought and the answer is no. He’s got a stage in the Giro and Vuelta and only a disastrous run of bad luck at the Tour de France kept him from an excellent shot at a French stage win.
The Vuelta and Cavendish are on the horizon and we’re looking forward to the battle. There’s no question that Farrar can’t wait for the big test. Our interview will be part of the next issue of Bike Magazine’s new quarterly called Paved, out in September.
Not to give anything away, but here’s one thing Farrar had to say about the calming influence of Eastern Philosophy and fighting a dozen other top sprinters in the final 500 meters of a ProTour race.
“For me there’s my life and my sporting life. When you’re in the race, it’s aggressive, heat of the moment, it’s competition. But at the end of the day, it’s not real life,” said Farrar. “In my life I try to be a calm person, open minded and accepting. My tattoo says may all be happy but I’m still trying to win a bike race.”
He got a win in Germany and now it’s time to do some damage in Spain. Boy Racer and the Battling Buddhist. Bring it on.