Garmin-Transitions' Tyler Farrar wins De Panne 3a as Paolini battles for seconds
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Farrar wins De Panne 3a as Paolini battles for seconds

by Ben Atkins at 8:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results

tyler farrarTyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) won stage 3a of the Three Days of De Panne in a bunch sprint in the eponymous seaside town. He beat the Skil-Shimano pair of Robert Wagner and Kenny Van Hummel into second and third places.

Farrar won the stage after previously being dropped by the peloton due to a mechanical problem. "But I was very motivated," he said to Sporza of his determination to rejoin the bunch and take the sprint. "Because of the bad weather I have not had many opportunities in a sprint this year."

The surface of the finishing straight in De Panne was unusual in that it is cobbled. Where Belgian races cover a lot of cobbled areas, it is relatively rare that they finish on them. "It is a bit strange to have to sprint on the cobblestones,” continued Farrar. “It’s difficult to accelerate. But I put in a nice sprint against Wagner; I only knew at 50 meters from the finish that I would win."

This was the American sprinter’s first victory of 2010, despite two second places in the Tours of Qatar and Oman, and third in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. "I am satisfied with the condition at this time,” he said. “So it’s more unfortunate that I was unable to get a result in Gent-Wevelgem. That was a big goal for me."

The breakaway of the day was made up of Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil), Klaas Lodewyck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Nico Eeckhout (Skil-Shimano), Dieter Cappelle (Verandas Willems) and Aleksejs Saramotins (HTC-Columbia). The sextet never managed to build a gap of more than a minute and a half as the Garmin and Acqua & Sapone controlled peloton was determined that it would end in a sprint.

Cappelle’s saddle broke off with less than 30km to go, when the gap was less than 30 seconds. The rest of the break was soon reeled in as the rest of the sprinters teams hit the front, but Traksel and Eeckhout refused to give up.

A number of riders attempted to escape in the closing kilometres, but none was successful and it all came back together for a sprint. Race leader Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone) joined the sprint to try to take some bonus seconds to increase his lead over the superior time triallists. Unfortunately for the Italian his sixth place was not good enough and he carries a very slim lead into this afternoon’s 14.75km test.

Result stage 3a
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
2. Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano
3. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
5. Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Verandas Willems
6. Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
7. Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
8. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Verandas Willems
9. Borut Bozic (Svk) Vacansoleil
10. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox

Standings after stage 3a
1. Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
2. Andry Grivko (Ukr) Team Astana @ same time
3. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet @ 9s
4. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions @ 12s
5. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouyges Telecom @ 1’30”


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