France — With super-sprinter Tyler Farrar still nursing injuries sustained in a Stage 2 crash, Farrar’s lead-out man Julian Dean stepped up for the Garmin-Transitions team on Wednesday’s Stage 4 race from Cambrai to Reims and delivered an impressive second-place finish.
The veteran New Zealander blew past some of the world’s fastest sprinters on his Felt F1 and finished just behind Italian stage winner Alessandro Petacchi. Adding to the successful day for Garmin-Transitions, South African Robbie Hunter finished fifth.
After two brutal days of racing narrow roads and cobblestone lanes in The Netherlands and France, Wednesday’s 153.5-kilometer stage was a more straightforward sprinters’ affair. Garmin-Transitions new GC leader Ryder Hesjedal, who inherited the responsibility after teammate Christian Vande Velde was forced to abandon with broken ribs, finished safely in the pack to preserve his fourth place overall standing. The Canadian sits 46 behind yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara.
Farrar, meanwhile, welcomed a normal, fairly relaxed stage to continue healing the injuries he suffered in a crash two days ago.
Thursday’s Stage 5 from Epernay to Montargis is expected to be another one for the sprinters. Watch for Garmin-Transitions riders to be right there in the mix.