Tyler Farrar suffered through his fourth crash in six days at the Tour de France today.
The 28-year-old crossed the finish line of the fifth stage in Saint-Quentin solo, sporting skin abrasions and a miserable expression after hitting the tarmac within the final five kilometres.
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The normally placid sprinter was fuming after the race and attemped to storm onto the Argos-Shimano bus to confront one of its riders who he blamed for the crash.
Farrar crashed twice in stage three and was involved in yesterday’s flat fourth stage carnage about 2.5km out from the finish line.
The Garmin-Sharp pro won his first career Tour de France stage on Independence Day last year, almost 12 months to the day, which doubles as his last individual victory.
In previous years Farrar has had the support of a lead-out train at the Tour but has only two helpers in South African road champion Robbie Hunter as well as David Millar this time with his team built around Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal.
Farrar’s victories this season have come in team time trials at the Tour of Qatar in February and the Giro in May. He finished second to Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) at Scheldeprijs in April and had recorded top five results at all of the stages races he started prior to that.
But lady lucky has seemingly turned on him in Grand Tours.
Farrar was forced to abandon the Giro after crashing heavily during the sixth stage suffering from several deep lacerations and a punctured blood vessel on the back of his left hand. The American, who spearheads the USA road team for the London Olympic Games, returned to racing at his national road titles at the end of May before competing at the Tour of Switzerland in June.
Garmin-Sharp sports director Allan Peiper said Farrar “should be coming more and more into shape” at the Tour but that was after the first two of his four crashes in France.
“He’s won stages first, second and third week in Grand Tours before,” Peiper had said at the end of the third stage in Boulogne-Sur-Mer.
“He crashed out of the Giro, unluckily, he had five days of racing between Roubaix and Switzerland so that’s not a lot to tweak your form really. Switzerland was a base race and he’s coming into this building to a peak so hopefully he’ll be good in the next days.”
German sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the fifth stage of the Tour today, his second consecutive victory, ahead of Australian Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff).
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