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Inside Le Tour: Catching Up With Tyler Farrar
Tyler Farrar has been at it again – jousting with Cavendish, but French Darling ‘Tommy’ Voeckler beat them both to the punch; Ignatiev held on from the break too and Tyler was fourth, just behind Cav. We caught up with the Garmin man after dinner on Wednesday.

PEZ: Have you recovered from the TTT, Tyler?
Tyler: It’s never an easy day, but I got through it; I decided to get out of the way on the climb, I was just getting in the way and slowing the team down.

It’s about to get really painful.

PEZ: How are ‘the five’ from the TTT today?
Tyler: Yeah, they seem pretty good; we were all nervous this morning because of the wind but we rode well and made the right side of the splits.

PEZ: The chasers misjudged it today and ‘Tommy’ stayed away.
Tyler: I was really surprised at how it ended; it went crazy on the coast with the cross wind and Astana were going really hard. Then Astana sat up and it took the sprinter’s teams a little longer than usual to get organised. There was a head wind in the finale and the guys out front were going a little better than everyone thought they were.

PEZ: Columbia looked tired, today.
Tyler: Maybe, they’ve certainly been doing a lot of work; we were helping them and Agritubel came up too.

PEZ: Do you think Cav’s comments about ‘riding like juniors’ has made other teams less likely to help Columbia?
Tyler: I don’t really follow press reports but negative comments certainly don’t help. Having said that, we put guys up there, today and you have to remember how important the Tour is; the sprinters are here to win stages and their teams will work towards that, irrespective of what anyone says.

PEZ: Do you know Cav?
Tyler: Not well, but I’ve chatted with him – pretty much just idle chit chat.

Farrar is getting more and more aid in the finales.

PEZ: I noticed more Garmin jerseys in the finale, today.
Tyler: I think that the team’s confidence in me is growing. They’re thinking that if we get it right then I can beat Cav and win a stage – he beat me today, for third, but not by much.

PEZ: Do you sprint as hard for third as for the win?
Tyler: It’s hard to say, it’s never the same, there’s always that little bit extra if it’s for the win.
But we were certainly sprinting hard today – in the green jersey competition, every point counts.

Farrar was closer to getting the measure of Cav in Stage 5.

PEZ: Tell us about the splits.
Tyler: It’s been so windy; I think that the organiser’s decision to take the race along the coast has been a good ploy to make the racing more exciting. You’ll be riding along, turn a corner, the wind’s from a different direction, guys will put the hammer down and it splits – fortunately, we made the right ends of them today.

PEZ: Freire and Bennati have been quiet.
Tyler: Yeah, I don’t know if they are waiting until the race settles down, but it’s like a ‘Who’s Who’ of sprinters in this year’s Tour – Cav, Freire, Bennati, Hushovd, Haussler, they’re all here.

PEZ: A team question – who’s the joker?
Tyler: Wiggins and Zabriskie keep things light; Bradley has a very dry sense of humour, he cracks you up with his one liners.

PEZ: And the ‘chow hound?’
Tyler: That’s a tough one – I think we’ve all been packing it away in this Tour!

PEZ: What’s your favourite thing about le Tour?
Tyler: The whole deal; I’ve done plenty of big races – classics, Giro, Worlds but nothing compares to the roadside crowds at the Tour.

PEZ: And least favourite?
Tyler: I’ve been having a pretty good time but it is a circus and sometimes it’s pretty nuts!

PEZ: Is “Lance Mania” still in full effect?
Tyler: I think so; he brings a whole different level of fan and media attention to the race.

PEZ: Does he talk to you, in the peloton?
Tyler: Yeah, we chatted at the Giro and here too; he’s a pretty nice guy, from a different generation but when we’ve talked he’s been very encouraging towards me.

And will Tyler nail Cav before Paris? – watch this space!


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