By Andrew Hood
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) will take a pass on Tuesday’s final time trial at the Eneco Tour despite sitting second overall just 21 seconds out of the lead.
With three stage victories in the bag and the ever-important Vuelta a España looming ahead this weekend, the American sprinter decided that it was better to rest for more important goals in his third grand tour of the year.
“I’m going to be skipping the final stage today of the Eneco tour,” Farrar wrote VeloNews in an e-mail. “My objective going into the race was to win a stage and get the (kilometers) in my legs to be ready for the Vuelta. Looking at the GC going into the final stage, I think I would have had a hard time finishing highly with so many TT specialists within a few seconds, so (sport director) Matt White and I decided I would be better off getting an extra day of rest leading up to the Vuelta.”
Farrar has enjoyed the best week of his career, winning the Vattenfall Cyclassics on August 16 before roaring into the eight-day Eneco Tour, where he finished second in the opening prologue and then won three stages over four days.
He wore the leader’s jersey before finally ceding ground to current leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) in Sunday’s hilly fifth stage. Farrar sprinted to third Monday behind winner Boasson Hagen, who expanded his lead over Farrar to 21 seconds going into today’s short but decisive time trial.
The flat, 13.1km course in Amersfoort favors the time trial specialists. Boasson Hagen, no slouch in the TT, is in the driver’s seat to claim the overall in the ProTour race.
Lars Bak (Saxo Bank) is third at 25 seconds back while Eneco prologue winner Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) presents Boasson Hagen’s most dangerous threat at fourth at 31 seconds back.
Farrar, meanwhile, will prepare for the Vuelta, which clicks into gear Saturday in Assen, Holland, with a short prologue.
Farrar told VeloNews in an interview last week that he hopes to win at least one stage at the Vuelta.
“I am still chasing that grand tour stage win. It looks like there’s a lot of sprints in Vuelta, so I will keep it rolling, to see it if I can get one there,” Farrar said. “Matt White said there will probably be four or five sprints in first 10 days, so there should be some good opportunities. I will take it as it comes. There should be a lot of sprints in the first half and then we will re-assess and see how I am feeling. It is my third grand tour of the year, so we will see how my body is holding up.”
With the way Farrar has been racing right now, that elusive grand tour stage victory looks more likely than ever.
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