Farrar breaks through in Vattenfall Cyclassics
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Farrar breaks through in Vattenfall Cyclassics

by VeloNation Press at 1:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Vattenfall Cyclassics
 
Tyler Farrar (25) of the Garmin-Slipstream team notched his biggest victory to date in the Vattenfall Cyclassics today, making him the first American to claim victory in the ProTour ranked one-day event.

Farrar bested Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel and home favorite Gerald Ciolek of Team Milram in the downtown streets of Hamburg, Germany.

The win comes as a welcome relief to the sprinter after missing out repeatedly to Columbia-HTC's Mark Cavendish in stages of both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

"This season has already gone pretty well for me, although a big success had been missing, so this is really nice," said Farrar.

"After so many second places in the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, it's a great feeling to finally stand on the top of the podium as a winner."

With Columbia-HTC sending German sprinter André Greipel to the race instead of Cavendish, last year's winner Robbie McEwen (Katusha) sidelined with an injury, and green jersey winner Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) not taking the start, the door was left open for the Garmin team to get that illusive sprint win.

The home favorite Ciolek was said he was satisfied to make the podium.

"A race always has two sides. Of course you would like to win, but a third place in a ProTour race is certainly not a bad result," said Ciolek.

How the race unfolded

On a course suited for a bunch finish, it only took 2km for Spaniard Sergio de Lis and Ukrainian Yuriy Krivtsov to try to upset the norm with a suicide escape.

The pair went on to build a lead of more than five minutes on the peloton, but Garmin-Slipstream and Columbia-HTC kept the gap at a manageable distance, reeling them in with around 48 kilometers left to race.

The race's only real difficulty was in the form of the Waseberg climb, of which the peloton had to navigate three times, the last test being only 16 kilometers from the finish.

Power riders Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Nicolas Roche (AG2r), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick-Step), and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) all took their chances in the finale, but with the sprinter's teams patrolling the front and the Waseberg unable to dislodge their leaders, all of the attacks were neutralized.

On the way into Hamburg the Astana and Quick-Step teams ramped up the pace, the latter to setup Australian Allan Davis. But as the peloton hit the finish line in the center of the city, it was Tyler Farrar who proved he had the strongest kick to the line.

Now, with the fresh taste of victory, the American will have even more motivation to focus his training to keep pace with Columbia-HTC's Cavendish. Farrar beat Cavendish earlier this year in Stage 3 of the Tirreno-Adriatico, so while he's proved beating the man from the Isle of Man is possible, it won't be an expected turn, nor will it come easily.

Results from the 216.4km Hamburg Cyclassics:

1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin 5hr 30min 38sec
2. Matti Breschel (DEN)
3. Gerald Ciolek (GER)
4. Allan Davis (AUS)
5. Koldo Fernandez (ESP)
6. Davide Vigano (ITA)
7. Daniele Bennati (ITA)
8. Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
9. Marco Bandiera (ITA)
10. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA)
11. William Bonnet (FRA)
12. Jose Rojas Gil (ESP)
13. Guennadi Mikhailov (RUS)
14. Andreas Dietziker (SUI)
15. Graeme Brown (AUS) all same time
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