SAINT-QUENTIN, France (VN) — While Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde cooled down on their trainers after stage 5, much of the Garmin staff responded to a two-alarm fire next door at the Argos-Shimano team bus. It seems Tyler Farrar wanted to have a chat with Tom Veelers.
For the third day in a row, Farrar was caught up in a crash. As he made his way back from the finish, he made a detour to the Argos bus, which happened to be parked next door.
Garmin mechanics hurriedly leaned bikes against the nearest solid object and ran to the Argos bus, which was surrounded by a throng of fans and media alike. Team manager Jonathan Vaughters decisively made the trip over as well.
When Farrar approached the Argos bus, he was overheard saying: “You’re not doing this to me. I want an explanation from Tom.”
As quickly as it started, Farrar was turned around and escorted back to the Garmin bus; his body language was not positive.
“He said, ‘I just want to talk to him,’” Vaughters said.
Veelers teammate Roy Curvers played a role in calming the situation.
“He wanted to go in but a few guys held against him,” Curvers said. “He wanted to talk to Tom. He said, ‘You don’t do that in the sprint,’ but I don’t know what he was talking about. But I don’t see a problem for the future.”
Curvers didn’t physically restrain Tyler, but he did see the tension in the air.
“Normally, Tyler is a really fair guy and a really fair sprinter,” he said. “I think it needs to be a little bit more addressed and tomorrow we can talk about it more. When we see the video again [of the crash] we can really tell something about it.”
After the dust had settled, Veelers seemed calm as he exited the bus.
“There was a fight for the back wheel of my train. I was on the wheel of my teammate Koen [de Kort] and Tyler was trying to come around me. He tried to pass me and I defended my position. It wasn’t my fault. Normally, Tyler is a relaxed person. I am sure tomorrow we can discuss this in a normal way.”
After entering his bus, Farrar was not seen again. His team was contacted but he had yet to issue a statement on the incident.
Editor’s note: Stay tuned to Velonews.com for more details.