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Tyler Farrar, the only American sprinter to win stages in all three grand tours, quietly put an end to his racing career.
In an interview with Peloton, the Dimension Data rider said he decided to end his 12-year racing career despite having a contract for the 2018 season.
“I’ve always done cycling 100 percent,” Farrar told James Startt. “And when I realized that I couldn’t be there at the level I expected of myself, I knew it was time to stop.”
Team officials had said Farrar was mulling his future, and the 33-year-old’s final race was the GP Montreal over the weekend.
Farrar turned pro at 19 and joined Cofidis for the 2006-2007 season before riding for the Slipstream franchise from 2008-2014. It was with Garmin that Farrar enjoyed his best years as he emerged as a direct rival to Mark Cavendish in the bunch sprints.
Farrar notched 29 pro wins, with the first one in 2008 at Tour Du Poitou Charentes. In 2009, he beat Cavendish for the first time in a sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico. That same season, he registered his first of two victories at Vattenfall Cyclassics as well as his first grand tour stage at the Vuelta a España.
In 2010, he won GP Scheldeprijs, two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and two more stages at the Vuelta in what was his best season.
“The stars just aligned there for a few years, and I had a ton of success,” Farrar told VeloNews last year. “When you have a run like that, when you’re really at the top of the game for three years, and when you’re not winning with that consistency, you’re always chasing it and trying to rediscover it.”
In 2011, tragedy struck when Farrar’s best friend and training partner Wouter Weylandt was killed in a crash at that year’s Giro. Farrar and Weylandt’s entire Leopard-Trek team withdrew from the race. In July, Farrar won his only Tour stage, and raised his hands in the form of a “W” to pay honor to his fallen friend. He became the first American to win a Tour stage on the Fourth of July.
After that three-year run, Farrar’s victory haul fell dramatically. He didn’t win again in Europe until 2013, and his final pro win came at the Tour of Beijing in 2014.
Admitting that his race-winning speed was diminished, Farrar switched to Dimension Data in 2015 to slot into a helper’s role for the young, ambitious team. He embraced the role as mentor, and rode in his final Tour in 2015 as a road captain.
Farrar always kept a low profile on social media and settled in Gent, Belgium, to be close to his favorite races of the northern classics.
An avid hunter and skier, Farrar told The Peloton Brief he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life.
“Skiing all winter,” Farrar said. “I think it’s all been amazing. It’s been a great adventure, but sometimes it’s time to start a new chapter, and I am ready for it.”