American Tyler Farrar won the stage two bunch sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico today in Indicatore, Italy and took the overall lead from Lars Boom.
Team Garmin-Cervélo led him over the final climb, down the tight descent and left him to do the rest. He held off a surge by Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and put his name firmly on the list of Milan-San Remo favourites.
"I am very happy, I had Hushovd pulling the sprint for me," said Farrar. "It was incredible."
An escape of three marked the second stage from Carrera, 204 kilometres. The group pulled them back on the outskirts of Indicatore, at 21.5 kilometres to race.
Brit Roger Hammond and his Garmin-Cervélo team-mates came to the front with 15 kilometres to race. Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters said that position was key ahead of the Poggio climb at 4.6 kilometres to race.
"We had [Andreas] Klier, Matt Wilson, Hammond and Thor [Hushovd]," said Vaughters. "We burnt up Brett Lancaster, Dave Zabriskie and Ramunas [Navardauskas] before the climb."
Cavendish remained with the main group. Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw led him out, but Cavendish faded in the last kilometre. Sky powered down the left side of the road - Juan Antonio Flecha for Edvald Boasson Hagen - and team Saxo Bank followed.
The white world champion jersey of Hushovd emerged, though, with Farrar in tow. Farrar was unstoppable, even with the challenge from 2005 San Remo winner, Petacchi.
Farrar is now a top favourite for San Remo, although he is remaining coy about what will happen at the race in nine day's time: "I don't know about that. A stage here and Milan-San Remo are two different things," Farrar said. "It's an important race for our team, we have three good cards: myself, Thor and Heinrich Haussler. We will talk when the race nears, see how we are feeling and what the directors say."
Tirreno-Adriatico 2011, stage two: Carrara to Indicatore, 202km
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo in 4-56-06
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
3. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank-Sungard
4. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad
5. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
7. Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Astana
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
9. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini all at same time
19. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at same time
64. Roger Hammond (GB) Garmin-Cervelo
112. Steve Cummings (GB) Sky at 12 secs
121. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 12 secs
Overall classification after stage two
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo in 5-14-13
2. Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank at 1 sec
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 1 sec
4. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank at 1 sec
5. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank at 1 sec
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 1 sec
7. Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank at 1 sec
8. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 8 secs
9. Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Cervelo at 10 secs
10. Roger Hammond (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 10 secs
Tirreno-Adriatico 2011: Related links
Tirreno-Adriatico 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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