Garmin-Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar sprinted to victory in the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday.
Farrar out-sped Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) and Gerald Ciolek (Milram) to become the first American to win the 216.4km circuit race in Hamburg, Germany.
Having lost out several times on sprint stages to Columbia-HTC’s Mark Cavendish in this year’s Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, the 25-year-old Farrar said he was pleased to finally get a win under his belt.
“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 on the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, it is a great feeling to finally stand on the top of the podium as a winner.”
Sergio de Lis (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale) broke away early on and built a lead of several minutes before the Garmin and Columbia-HTC teams began taking time back, the latter working for an on-form André Greipel, and 48km from the finish, the escapees had been retrieved.
The course included four ascents of the Waseberg, a short, tough climb that chipped away at the peloton, with the last ascent coming just 15km from the finish.
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Nicolas Roche (Ag2r), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) in turn tried their luck in solo moves or with a few companions, but the bunch shut these moves down, too.
Astana and Tom Boonen’s Quick Step squad led the way in the winding, dangerous finale, speeding into the city center of Hamburg. A crash with 2km to go took down a number of riders, among them Farrar’s teammate Martijn Maaskant.
But Farrar kept the rubber side down and crossed the line first, leaving the hometown crowd disappointed — a German has not won here since Erik Zabel in 2001.
“The team rode together, at the front, all day,” said Farrar. “We had some bad luck with crashes, but the boys really came through today.”
Slipstream CEO Jonathan Vaughters praised Farrar for hanging tough despite some disappointments.
“He didn’t get frustrated by so many second places, he re-focused and worked hard, and now he’ll start winning a lot more,” said Vaughters. “He’s a very strong rider — he has his first season with grand-tour experience, and now he’s reaping the benefit of that experience.”?? —Agence France Presse contributed to this report