Tyler Farrar, head-banger.
This is the make or break year for Tyler Farrar. Will he come back to the top tier, A-List, Rival of Cav, grand tour stage winner or not? The Not option is not much fun and would also signal that Farrar is on the downward arc, slow at 28.
Last year was misery and bad luck for the Garmin-Sharp-Pain sprinter. First, he botched the entire front half of his season in a failed attempt to train specifically for the classics. In doing so he lost his turbo kick and the experiment bombed big time. No, he will not beat Cancellara.
Then it was off to the Giro d’Italia, a crash and zero results. He did get to watch Ryder Hesjedal win the Giro and eat plenty of pasta but his own highlights didn’t exist.
Supposedly, Farrar got back his high gear in time for the Tour de France but Le Grand Shindig was disastrous. He hit the deck numerous times in the first week alone and finally exploded with un-Farrah-like rage. Blaming Argos-Shimano’s Tom Veelers for yet another crash, he stormed to the Argos bus screaming “You don’t do that to someone.” Argyle staff had to pull him away before he bit off Veelers’ leg like a rabid junkyard dog.
C’est dommage, as the French say. Time for the Olympic road race, Farrar in good position for the sprint, then a crash in front of him, Cav stays up and Ty goes down. Sensing a pattern here? Farrar is not a guy you want rolling dice or playing cards in Vegas with your money.
Finally, in late August, Farrar’s horrible luck turns around and he wins two sprints in the US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. Sure, competition wasn’t Cav-Griepel level but a win is a win. It looked like Farrar was going to end the season on a high note.
Tour of Britain, crash, severe concussion that also rules him out of the Worlds. At this point, we’re beginning to worry about Farrar ending up like those mush-head football and hockey players with early onset Alzheimers. Jonathan Vaughters helping him get dressed and fed. A few more head shots and it’s early retirement. With any luck Farrar can’t remember anything that happened to him in 2012.
So where is Tyler Farrar going this year? Will he steal a stage win or two against Cavendish or put together a string of also-ran 6th and 8th places? Hard to say, really. He gets his season off to a fast start in the Duels of the Desert, Qatar and Oman.
We’re big fans of Farrar who is a thoughtful, curious and nice guy. Pray he doesn’t crash.