Mark Cavendish and his HTC-Highroad team previewed yesterday's Tour de France stage to Redon during their post Giro d'Italia training camp. American Tyler Farrar skipped it. He was dealing with the death of a close friend and deciding if he'd even race the Tour de France.
He decided to and yesterday, won his first Tour stage.
"I had my doubts he was going to ride the Tour at all," Garmin-Cervélo's general manager, Jonathan Vaughters told Cycling Weekly.
"Once he decided to, I knew he'd be up to the task. His morale's good now."
"This has been a horrible past two months with everything that happened in the Giro - lots of ups and downs," Farrar said in a press conference. "But I wanted to be able to come back and do something special to pay tribute to Wouter [Weylandt]."
Farrar stopped racing on May 9 at the Giro d'Italia after his close friend, Wouter Weylandt died during the day's stage to Rapallo. Though his Garmin team continued with David Millar in the race lead, Farrar abandoned with Weylandt's Leopard-Trek team after the next day's tribute stage.
It took him some time to get back on his bike and not until one month later, did he race again. It left him little time for train for the Tour, let alone preview stages.
"We did that one month ago, after the Giro," HTC's sports director, Valerio Piva told Cycling Weekly. "The team time trial, the final of the first stage, this stage and Wednesday's."
Cavendish won yesterday's intermediate sprint for sixth place behind the escape, but was later disqualified for bumping shoulders with Thor Hushovd. He was held up in the final bend of the sprint to the finish line and lost a chance for win number 16 at the Tour. Instead, Farrar zoomed ahead - on the wheels of team-mates Thor Hushovd in the leader's yellow jersey and Julien Dean - for win number one.
The win was born back at the intermediate sprint. Farrar, unlike Cavendish, decided to focus solely on the final sprint.
"He wanted to save his legs," Vaughters continued. "It proved to be the right move."
Farrar, Cavendish and the rest of the peloton continue today in a stage to Mûr-de-Bretagne. The next chance for a sprint will be on tomorrow in Cap Fréhel.
Tour de France 2011: Related links
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Tyler Farrar: Rider profile
Tour de France 2011: Latest news
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Tour GC contenders: the winners and losers after stage one
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Pro predictions: Who will win opening Tour stage?
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Tour de France 2011: Teams, riders, start list
Tour de France 2011: Official start list
Tour de France 2011: Who's riding?
Tour de France 2011: Team guide
Tour de France 2011: Stage reports
Stage three: Farrar sprints to first Tour victory in Redon
Stage two: Garmin win team time trial to put Hushovd in yellow
Stage one: Gilbert blasts to victory as Tour gets off to spectacular start
Tour de France 2011: Highlights videos
Stage three video highlights
Stage two video highlights
Stage one video highlights
Tour de France 2011: Photo galleries
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Andy Jones
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2011 team time trial training photo gallery by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team press conferences by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2011: Live text coverage
Tour de France 2011 LIVE: CW's text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2011: Archive videos
Video: 2003 Centenary Tour
Video: Lance Armstrong retrospective
Video: Behind the scenes at the Tour
Video: Guerini's 1999 stage win
Video: Thrills and spills at the Tour
Video: Armstrong in 1999
Video: The Indurain years
Video: Ladies of the Tour
Video: Best of bizarre
Tour de France 2011: TV schedule
British Eurosport Tour de France 2011 TV schedule
ITV4 Tour de France 2011 TV schedule
Tour de France 2011: Related links
Tour de France: The jerseys, what they are and what they mean
Potted history of the Tour de France
The closest Tours in history
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Tour de France 2011: Older news items
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2011 Tour de France teams named
Tour de France 2011: Route details
The mountains of the 2011 Tour de France
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Contador faces tough questions in pre-Tour press conference
Brits in the Tour de France 2011
UCI and AFLD collaborate on Tour de France dope tests
Contador confirmed for Tour de France
Evans set for Tour de France win
UCI says 'respect Contador at Tour de France'
Contador confirms taking part in Tour de France
Bookies slash odds on Wiggins winning Tour
Halfords launches free Garmin Tour de France fantasy game
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