May 8, 2010

Team Garmin-Transitions’ sprinter Tyler Farrar sits down with Outside magazine’s John Bradley before the start of the Giro d’Italia.

Tyler Farrar is a rarity among American cyclists in Europe. The 25-year-old, who rides for the Garmin-Transitions team, is both a specialist in the grueling one-day cobbled classics of spring and a world-class sprinter.

Aside from George Hincapie, very few Americans have ever been competitive in both types of races. In fact, Farrar’s ability to win both cobbled classics and the hectic bunch sprints that end the flat stages of the grand tours makes him a rarity among cyclists in general.

Last year Farrar started all three grand tours—the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España—and won stage 11 of the Vuelta. He was also the only rider last year who seemed able to consistently push Mark Cavendish, the British sprint star who won 24 races last year, including six stages at the Tour de France.

Cavendish has had a rough start to 2010 after a tooth infection and subsequent surgery left him unable to train properly through the winter and early spring.

Farrar, meanwhile, is coming off the best spring of his career, topping his 2009 Vuelta win with victories on his beloved cobbles—in the Grote Scheldeprijs and Stage 3 of the Three Days of De Panne—plus 5th at the Tour of Flanders.

I caught up with Farrar this week as he was putting the final touches on his preparation for tomorrow’s start of the Giro d’Italia to find out what he has planned for the rest of the season.

Tyler Farrar - Scheldeprijs

How have things been for you since the classics ended?
Pretty good. Had a pretty busy spring up through Paris-Roubaix. Took a little under two weeks off after that, then came down to Girona, where I’ve been plugging away at the training, getting ready for the Giro.

What does time off mean for you?
After the spring classics I gave myself a whole week of the bike, really took a break. You train hard all winter and then it’s a big stress of two and a half months of pretty serious racing. So a week off the bike and then another week where I was back riding every day, but not particularly hard. Then back into real training.

Read the entire interview.

More photos of Tyler Farrar:
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