Team USA is nearing its difficult decision in finding enough experienced riders to support Tyler Farrar at the World Championship in Geelong, Australia, on October 3.
“It’s always the same with USA selection, after the national champs in September many riders think it is the last race of the season and they go home,” said Farrar. The Worlds is “one of the biggest races of the season, you should be motived for it.”
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This year, Farrar has won two stages in the Giro d’Italia and the Vattenfall Cyclassics. He has failed so far to beat Brit Mark Cavendish to win Tour de France stage, but explained he finds motivation in winning cycling’s prized rainbow jersey.
“The Worlds is more important because you can win the rainbow jersey,” said Farrar. “It is bigger than a stage win, you can wear it [the jersey] all year.”
Farrar has the early advantage because USA is one of nine nations how has the full allotment of riders, nine. Great Britain, based on nations’ rankings throughout the year, has only three.
USA’s problem is to fill the eight spots with American riders who can support Farrar.
“It comes down to the size of the pool you have to choose from. It is not like Italy, France or Belgium, where you have hundreds of riders to choose from. Even their mid-level guys are good because they do the European circuit all year. It is different for us, it is not easy to go 3,000 miles all the time to do your trade,” said USA’s new sports director, Mike Sayers.
“We are allowed the full quota because Americans have done well and have gotten results. Of course, I would love to have Lance [Armstrong], George [Hincapie] and Levi [Leipheimer] on the team, but they all have their own programme and the worlds are difficult, it comes later in the season.
“It is problematic. George would be ideal, but even before the Tour of Utah and his crash, he said that he was not going to be able to do it.”
Cavendish relied on Hincapie last year to win Milan-San Remo and six stages of the Tour de France. Hincapie left HTC-Columbia this year to join BMC Racing, where Sayers is a sports director during the rest of the season.
USA Cycling will announce its selection next month, but said Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) and Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia team-mates, Tejay Van Garderen and Craig Lewis, are destined to be part of USA’s national team.
Great Britain will announce its two men in addition to Mark Cavendish soon, likely while Cavendish and Farrar are racing for stage wins at the Vuelta a España, August 28 to September 19.