Thursday, September 03, 2009
Farrar fourth after 5 stages at Vuelta
Spain — Garmin-Slipstream sprinter Tyler Farrar racked up another top-five finish at the 2009 Vuelta a España on Thursday, finishing fourth in the 174-kilometer Stage 5 from Tarragona to Vinaros. The American now sits fourth overall in the season’s final grand tour, 21 seconds behind race leader Andre Greipel, the winner of Stage 5.
Thursday’s stage was the first to take place on Spanish roads, following four days in Belgium and The Netherlands, and a rest day on Wednesday. The peloton left the rain and wet roads of northern Europe behind and were greeted by blue skies and hot temperatures in the Catalonia region of Spain. Thursday’s route included two categorized climbs and a mostly flat run-in to the finish.
After an early breakaway of five riders, the sprinters’ teams, including Farrar’s Garmin-Slipstream squad, set the pace as the chase picked up in the last 50 kilometers. A couple of counter-attacks were attempted after the break was caught, but as expected it came down to a bunch sprint at the end.
Farrar’s teammates helped position him for the final dash, and the American finished fourth wheel, behind Greipel, Belgian Tom Boonen, and Italian Daniele Bennati.
Friday’s Stage 6 follows a similar route, and could be another day for the sprinters.
VUELTA A ESPANA
Spain. August 29-September 20
Stage 5, Tarragona to Vinaros, Spain
1. Andre Greipel (Ger), Columbia-HTC, 4:27:54
2. Tom Boonen (Bel), Quick Step, same time
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita), Liquigas, same time
4. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, same time
5. William Bonnet (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, same time
1. Andre Greipel (Ger), Columbia-HTC, 19:40:23
2. Tom Boonen (Bel), Quick Step, at 0:06
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita), Liquigas, at 0:17
4. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:21
5. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Saxo Bank, at 0:27