Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Spain — Garmin-Slipstream sprinter Tyler Farrar reached a new level in his breakout season by checking off another major career first on Wednesday—his first Grand Tour stage victory. The 25-year-old American sprinted to victory in Stage 11 of the Vuelta a España on his Felt F1 team bike, giving Garmin-Slipstream its first grand tour stage win of the season.

Farrar outsprinted Belgian Philippe Gilbert and Italian Marco Marcato to win the 200-kilometer stage from Murcia to Caravaca de la Cruz, fulfilling his goal of scoring a grand tour victory in 2009. With major wins at Tirreno-Adriatico, the Eneco Tour and the Vattenfall Cyclassics already in the bag—plus a handful of close second-place finishes in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia—Farrar has now landed the big one.

It was a gutsy win for the American, who had to fight his way back up to the front of the peloton after the Campo de San Juan Category 2 climb. He made his final move early and held on to win the long sprint to the line. 

In other good news for the Garmin-Slipstream squad, GC leader Tom Danielson held his top-five overall standing. The American heads into a rest day on Thursday in fourth place, 51 seconds behind overall leader Alejandro Valverde of Spain.

Spain. August 29-September 20
Stage 11, Murcia - Caravaca de la Cruz, 200km

1. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, 5:11:10
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Silence-Lotto, same time
3. Marco Marcato (Ita), Vacansoleil, same time
4. Iñaki Isasi (Spa), Euskatel-Euskadi, same time
5. André Greipel (Ger), Columbia-HTC, same time

General Classification
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, 45:37:51
2. Cadel Evans (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 0:07
3. Robert Gesink (Ned), Rabobank, at 0:36
4. Tom Danielson (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:51
5. Ivan Basso (Ita), Liquigas, at 0:53