Farrar Sprints to Victory in Beijing Tour
Tyler Farrar is ending his Garmin-Sharp career on a high. Farrar, who will ride for MTN-Qhubeka next season, took a bunch sprint to win the rugged, 176-km stage 3 ride from Yanqing to Qianjiadian Chao Yang Temple in 4:15:46. Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) finished second, and Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished third. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) remains the race leader.
Smog was not an issue today. Dayer Quintana (Movistar), Julien Berard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (FDJ.fr), Julian Alaphilippe and Michal Golas (both from Omega Pharma-Quick Step), and Karsten Kroon (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) jumped clear and forged a four-minute lead. BMC began to chase on behalf of Gilbert, who led Alaphilippe by 0:11 at the beginning of the day.
With 50 km left, the break led the bunch by a little more than two minutes. The peloton reeled in the escapees on the Category 3 Huang Tu Liang, the day’s final climb, with 15 km to go.
Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) attacked, and Julian Arredondo (Trek) joined him. The bunch caught the pair on the descent, but Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) countered with about five km left.
Sky, Belkin, Katusha, Giant-Shimano, and Orica-GreenEdge battled for control at the front. The acceleration snuffed out Betancur’s move. Orica-Green Edge led the field into the last km. Farrar started sprinting from 12th place and won by a bike length.
Farrar attributed his victory to teamwork. “I’m very happy with today’s win,” he said. “The team here is really strong, and they worked hard all day. I am glad to be able to pay them back by bringing home the win. Today is truly special.”
In the overall, Gilbert leads Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Giant-Shimano) by 0:05 and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) by 0:07. Stage 4 could change this state of affairs. The 157-km ride from Yanqing to Mentougou Miaofeng will feature two Category 1 ascents, including the climb to the finish. Who will have the overall lead at the end of the stage? Gilbert? Costa? Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!