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Best of 2012, sweetest redemption: Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar

December 26, 2012
Tyler Farrar wins stage 1 of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge

Tyler Farrar wins stage 1 of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge in Telluride

Twenty days after riding onto the Champs Elysées, scabs from multiple crashes during that 2012 Tour de France still clung to Tyler Farrar’s arms and legs before the start of one of the hardest climbing days in the 2012 Tour of Utah. For the American sprinter stage five to Snowbird would be another hard day. Another winless day. While he had contributed to three team time trial victories during the 2012 season, Farrar’s last individual win occurred during the 2011 Tour de France.

Tyler Farrar, last on the final hill of the 2012 Tour of Utah stage 3

Tyler Farrar, last on the final hill of the 2012 Tour of Utah stage 3

A few days prior to Utah’s stage five he came in third on stage two in the bunch sprint that United Healthcare’s Jake Keough won. The next day he completed a hilly stage three alone in last place just before the time limit.

Farrar’s next opportunity to win would take place in just over a week during the USA Pro Challenge where more mountains waited.

2012 Tour of Utah stage 4, Jake Keogh 1st, Tyler Farrar 3rd

2012 Tour of Utah stage 4, Jake Keogh 1st, Tyler Farrar 3rd

In Utah Garmin-Sharp sports director Charlie Wegelius said Farrar was still “quite beat up” from the Tour de France. He also sounded hopeful about Farrar’s chances on the likely sprint finish days in the Colorado race.

Tyler Farrar on his way to the podium in Telluride, 2012 USA Pro Challenge

Tyler Farrar on his way to the podium in Telluride, 2012 USA Pro Challenge

Near the end of stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge the peloton caught the break-away and set up for a bunch sprint. Farrar had made it over Lizard Head Pass close enough to the front to contend for the win in Telluride.

He crossed the line first, handing out the beating instead of receiving it.

The “W” he formed by bending his arms at the elbows could be explained as part of the flow of a victory salute. But there’s an alternative explanation. And if it’s accurate, Telluride provided not only a place to redeem a frustrating season, but a way to continue to honor the memory of his friend, Wouter Weylandt, who passed away in May 2011.

Farrar won again four days later in Colorado Springs on stage five and wore the overall sprinter’s jersey home after Denver.

Tyler Farrar steps onto the podium in Telluride to receive the first 2012 USA Pro Challenge yellow jersey

Tyler Farrar steps onto the podium in Telluride to receive the first 2012 USA Pro Challenge yellow jersey

The final 2012 USA Pro Challenge podium, Farrar and Danielson celebrate, Joe Dombrowski looks on

The final 2012 USA Pro Challenge podium, Farrar and Danielson celebrate, Joe Dombrowski looks on

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