By Andrew Hood
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Chipotle) is putting his strong end-of-season form to good use at this week’s Circuit Franco-Belge.
After finishing second to Tom Boonen (Quick Step) in Thursday’s opener, Farrar slipped into the race leader’s jersey in Friday’s 184km stage from Bray Dunes to Poperinge in west Belgium.
Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) won the sprint with Farrar clawing his way to his second-straight second place, good enough to put him into the lead by two seconds ahead of Boonen.
The 24-year-old is getting plenty of podium time at the stage race along the French-Belgian border. In addition to the overall leader’s jersey, he owns the best young rider’s jersey and the points jersey.
Two of Garmin-Chipotle teammates abandoned in miserable weather in western Belgium and northern France with more foul weather in the cards for Saturday’s stage.
The race continues Saturday with the 206km stage around Mouscron.
Farrar is riding strong form going into the final races of the 2008 season.
He won a stage at the Tour Poitou-Charentes in France for his first European victory in 2008 and completed the men’s road race at the world championships in Varese, Italy.
“Getting the win in France, it’s always nice to win in Europe. The last two months, I’ve been going really well. At Missouri and Portugal, I was right there in the sprints, always second, third, fourth,” Farrar told VeloNews last weekend. “I knew I had good form, I just needed that little bit of luck.”