Tyler Farrar recovers from a long ride in Flanders
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2011 champion in form, says American
Tyler Farrar is confident that defending champion Johan Vansummeren can lead the line for Garmin-Barracuda at this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. A crash on the Paterberg hampered Vansummeren in the finale of the Tour of Flanders, but Farrar believes his teammate has the same sort of condition that carried him to victory at Roubaix 12 months ago.
“Our whole objective is to try and win Roubaix and Summie is our guy for that,” Farrar told Cyclingnews in Ghent. “We do have a few other riders and if something happens in the race, we do have some back-ups, but we’re starting the race all for one and that’s Johan.
“I think he’s really fit. He’s looked really good and he’s been really good on the races. Roubaix is a special race, and you need to have the legs and a bit of luck, but with the way Johan has been riding the last couple of weeks, I think he’s just as strong as he was this time last year.”
Vansummeren lined up in 2011 as one of Thor Hushovd’s key lieutenants, but he seized the opportunity when he infiltrated what turned out to be the decisive break shortly after the Arenberg forest. Although Hushovd has since left for pastures new at BMC, Garmin remains a solid force on the cobbles, all the more so given the progress made by Sep Vanmarcke this season.
The young Belgian won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, but admitted that the longer distance took its toll at the Tour of Flanders, where he lined up as team leader. While Vanmarcke will surely still have a key role to play on Sunday, Farrar stressed that Vansummeren would lead the line.
“We’re going into the race purely riding for Summie, but we have to send riders in breaks and cover them and play the team tactic,” Farrar said. “We have a few riders who if they get in the right move can do what Johan did last year, but the plan is to support Summie as you would a
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