Tyler Farrar Sprints to Stage 11 Victory in Vuelta a Espana
Promising American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Team Garmin-Slipstream) made a long dash for the line to win the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain on Wednesday.
It was a first Grand Tour stage win for the 25-year-old Garmin-Slipstream rider who crossed the line ahead of Belgian Phillipe Gilbert and Italian Marco Marcato.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde remained in the overall lead as the race reached its second rest day but acknowledged his seven-second advantage on Australian Cadel Evans and 36 on third-placed Dutchman Robert Gesink was no guarantee of final victory.
"We've got three really difficult mountain stages starting Friday and I'm worried about all of them," Valverde told reporters.
"The race is entering its crucial phase and I'll have to watch Evans and Gesink like a hawk."
"I know I'm ok, but I'm sure I'm going to face some very serious attacks," added the Caisse D'Epargne rider who was born in the region of Murcia where stage 11 was held and received huge cheers as he climbed on to the winner's podium.
Farrar told reporters that given the 200-km stage's mountainous first half, he had thought his chances would be limited.
"We had more than 3,000 metres of climbing today, but after the last ascent I was able to get back into the bunch."
"I have to thank (team-mate) David Millar for the hard work he did for me throughout the stage.
"Winning today means I've fulfilled my big objective for the race, from now on anything is a bonus."
"I've been on the hunt all season for a stage victory in a major Tour," added Farrar, who took part in the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year.
"I didn't win in the Tour de France, but I finished it with good form, that's why I'm winning now."
Luxembourg's Frank Schleck, fifth in the Tour de France, did not start the stage because of knee pains.
Watch Vuelta a Espana stage video highlights in our video section.