If this is local Ghent resident Tyler Farrar’s home away from home, right now he must be wishing maybe he lived in Girona, Spain or Nice, France. Call moving van, pack boxes.
Farrar was on clearly on form after his podium in Dwars door Vlaanderen and was as optimistic as we’ve heard him of late. He had every reason to believe he’d do well in his “home” race. He’s an adopted son in Belgium and fans give him plenty of vocal support.
He crashed hard with 8k to go but faired better than rival sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) who also smacked the tarmac, breaking his collarbone and ripping the ligaments off the bone. The Rostock Rocket is now done for the classics season.
Farrar will live to fight and ride another day. According to the latest update he got off lucky — contusions and abrasions and deep disappointment — and the bonus is it’s not a long drive back to his own bed in Ghent.
Leave it to the perfect Belgium vocabulary on Sporza to accurately convey the days’ events and hard crashes in Ghent-Wevelgem. “Sky-Renner Ian Stannard valt hard in de gracht” — which we translate as Stannard hit hard in gravel. The video click line for Degenkolb was that the German sprinter “zegeviert in incidetrijke Gent-Wevelgem. Love the word “incidentrijke.” Who doesn’t want to avoid a crazy-looking word like that?
The best Sporza line was of course reserved for the big crash: “Greipel en Farrar betrokken bin zware val” — which feels like they were both broken and betrothed in some strange and fated way. Run that through google translate and it simply comes out with two words: bad shit.
The chaotic final kilometers and big crashes had Garmin-Sharp’s elder statesman David Millar commenting that he was just happy to be alive in his final retirement year.
“Peloton has gone mad, bunch of juniors: mad,” he tweeted. A few minutes later he added “Or maybe I’m a just an old-used-up senior pro who’s scared?” before finishing with this parting wisdom and or plea to his fellow men: “professionals, use empathy, we need to look after each other.”
Tell that to cowboys like Peter Sagan, Arnaud Demare and John Degenkolb. Manners and thoughtfulness don’t generally win big pro bike races and double the size of your contract.
Geipel summed up his day and the end of his classics season in one word: “Fuck.” For Tyler Farrar, the end result was just bad news, good news. He went down very hard but at least he’s still in one piece.