American sprinter Tyler Farrar leaves Garmin-Sharp after seven years to join South African outfit MTN-Qhubeka
“This is a big change for me in my cycling career after having spent seven years with my current team,” Farrar said. “I feel it is the perfect timing for me to move on though, and Team MTN-Qhubeka is definitely the team that appealed to me the most.”
The 30-year-old American from Washington State counts stage wins in all three Grand Tours. Though in 2014 he has gone winless, he counts several important placings in the Giro d’Italia and recently, two fourth places in the Tour of Britain.
Like Edvald Boasson Hagen, who will leave Sky for MTN, Farrar steps down from a first to a second division team. However, for the team, the riders ought to provide help for its budding Africans – this year numbering 19 of 26 – wins and more weight when it asks for Grand Tour invitations.
MTN is currently racing in its first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, since making the step into the second division for 2013.
“Tyler Farrar is an incredible asset to Team MTN-Qhubeka, a stage winner in all three Grand Tours and prolific contender in the classics, his inclusion will help our team move forward and maintain our position in the upper echelons,” said Team Principal Douglas Ryder.
“Tyler is one of the most successful riders to come out of the United States of America. His inclusion helps globalise our team in support of developing cycling on the African continent through the Qhubeka foundation.”
Garmin waited until late last year to renew Farrar’s contract. This year, it waited and it appeared that their seven-year run would end – which was confirmed today in a MTN press release.
At the Tour de France this year, General Manager Jonathan Vaughters announced he re-signed classification rider Andrew Talansky and afterwards, welcomed Cannondale as a new sponsor. With Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal – two more classification riders – and incoming Cannondale riders like Moreno Moser, Vaughters had to create space.
Farrar, however, has a new team and focus for 2015 that could bring him great responsibility and wins.
“The team is building a strong group of riders that will win races next year and I look forward to being a part of that, as both a winner and support rider,” Farrar added.
“Coming from America, I understand how important it is to globalise the sport of cycling. The African continent is a huge untapped area when it comes to cycling, you just need to look at what Africa is doing in track and field to realise the potential.”