Tyler Farrar wins Cofidis contract



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Jim Flom

Guest
I pulled this off of the from NW cycling listserve...

Farrar finalises Cofidis deal

By Shane Stokes
Tyler Farrar has achieved his goal of securing a ProTour contract for 2006
with the news that he will line out it the colours of the Cofidis squad next
season. Farrar is seen as one of the most promising young US riders, with a
stage win in last year's Tour de L'Avenir to his credit, as well as national
under 23 titles in the 2004 criterium and time trial championships.
In addition to competing on the North American circuit with Health Net,
Farrar has raced with the US national team in Belgium for several seasons.
This year he won the Trofee van Haspengouw and the Challenge de Hesbaye, as
well as stage 4 of the Ronde de l'Isard d'Ariege in France. These results
attracted the attention of several teams, with Discovery Channel amongst
those believed to have courted the young American for his signature. But it
was the long-term interest shown in him by the French team which secured his
decision.
"I talked to a few teams. In the end, I weighed up my options and felt that
for me, Cofidis was the best place to go," he told Cyclingnews. "I have been
talking to them on and off since last fall. They made contact after I won
the stage at the Tour de l'Avenir last year and just kept in touch through
the winter. I had a pretty good spring over in Europe, so they decided that
they wanted to give me a shot.
"They have really shown an interest in me and checked on me throughout the
winter, asking me how the preparations were going and other things. So that
really made me feel good. They were looking at me for the team for some
time, and I just feel it is the best match for me."
A strong sprinter and time trialist, Farrar is seen by some as a rider in
the mould of George Hincapie. However, in the past he has named another
rouleur as an inspiration - Stuart O'Grady - and he is set to join the
Australian at Cofidis. He seems excited by the prospect.
"It is definitely cool. I have always looked up to Stuart O'Grady, since I
started bike racing. So it will be really cool to be on the same team as him
- that is kind of exciting.
At this point, Farrar's 2006 program has only been loosely sketched out but
he has been told that he will ride some ProTour races as well as French Cup
events. "They said that they are going to give me a good program for
development. Hard pro races, but maybe not quite the biggest. I don't know
the exact schedule yet but it should be pretty good.
"I am hoping to go over there next year and just do my job, whatever it's
going to be. I hope I am going to be there and help in the lead-outs for
O'Grady, because I am a sprinter. So hopefully I can learn as much as I can
for the first while, helping out wherever I can."
Before then, Farrar has some more targets he's chasing this season. He lines
up in the US Pro criterium championships today as one of Health Net's
protected riders, and will be aiming to improve on his second place of last
year. The Tour de l'Avenir is another big goal, especially after his success
there last year, while the profile of the world under 23 championships in
Madrid should suit his talents. He is hoping to ride both the time trial and
road race there.
Watch out for a full feature on Tyler Farrar in the next few days.
 
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Tom Kunich

Guest
Just out of curiosity, what is Ferrar heading over to Europe for when
he can probably make more money in the USA carrying the national
jersey?

I'm not familiar with him, is he good for anything but all out speed on
a crit course? He doesn't sound like another Musseew or Pettachi.
 
A

Andrew F Martin

Guest
Google his results in the u23 fields (and I think he's still just 21 -
he got 9th in u23 Flanders when he was 19). He's the US's best chance
at Flanders or Roubaix (Hincapie included). At nats it took the entire
TIAA_CREF team to keep him from winning (think he got 2nd).

He's a Stuart O'Grady type rider who will mix it up with the sprints,
but still do some strongman style rides. Obviously not a pure climber,
but that's not really his game anyway.

http://www.teamhealthnet.com/team/tylerfarrar.htm

That, and he's a really nice guy. Completely un-pretentious and smart
enough to get his degree during all this stuff (taking classes at
Western Washington Univ last I talked to him).

-a