Tyler Farrar on his career: ‘I don’t have many regrets’

Tyler Farrar quietly rode into the sunset last month. Never a fan of the limelight, the 33-year-old discretely put an end to his 13-year racing career surrounded by family and friends at the Canadian WorldTour races.

As America’s top sprinter, Farrar won stages in all three grand tours en route to 29 career wins before evolving into a road captain role at Dimension Data in 2015.

Speaking to VeloNews as he transitions into a post-racing future, Farrar said he has few regrets during his career.

“I think it was the right call to retire. I had a great run,” Farrar said. “I don’t have many regrets. The whole thing has been a dream come true. I just think how lucky I was to live that life for 15 years, and be part of that circus that it was.”

Farrar had one more year remaining on his Dimension Data contract for 2018 but decided the time was right to hang up the cleats. He admitted that he felt like he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain.

“We started discussing it back in June already,” Farrar said. “I was on [Dimension Data] as team captain, and if you’re asking me as captain who is best for a race, there were a lot of guys, and I was thinking, send him instead of me. It was what was best for the team, and best for me as well. If you stick around too long, if you’re getting your head kicked in, it’s not fun.”

Farrar turned pro in 2006, and soon emerged as a steady performer in the bunch sprints. He would regularly challenge Mark Cavendish in the major races. Eventually, he won six grand tour stages: three in the Vuelta a España, two in the Giro d’Italia, and one in the Tour de France. He also won GP Scheldeprijs, the Vattenfall Cyclcassics twice as well as overall titles at Circuit Franco-Belge and Delta Tour Zeeland in what was a long-running love affair with the classics.

Farrar’s rivalry with Cavendish made headlines, but the pair eventually became good friends as teammates at Dimension Data. Farrar also was caught up in his fair share of crashes. He once rode a fan’s bike to make it to the finish at the Tour Down Under.

“I am very happy with what I did during my career,” Farrar said. “The results on paper are something special. More than the victories, there are things cannot easily quantify. Being part of two young, upstart programs, and fighting to arrive to the top of the sport, that was tremendously satisfying. Slipstream was an espoir team when I joined in 2008, and now it’s one of the top teams of the peloton. And then I switched over to MTN, and to go through that process again. I take a lot of pride in being part of both of those programs.”

Farrar is an avid skier, hiker, and hunter. He’s looking forward to life as a “normal person.” He hopes to work as a firefighter or EMT in order “to give something back.” Plus, he plans to buy a season-long ski pass.

“It’s a peculiar life you lead as a pro cyclist,” he said. “You are six or more months a year on the road, living out of a suitcase, so it’s a bit of a luxury of year where I don’t have to do that. I want to see what normal life looks like. We bought a house in Seattle, and we have our first baby due in February. I want to be home for that.”

He said it’s likely he won’t work as a sport director or manager in the near future. But he quickly added: “Never say never.” Will he keep riding? He added one caveat.

“The one rule I will have is that I am not going to ever ride again if it’s raining,” he said. “I am passionate about the bike, but right now, I want to do all those things I couldn’t do when I was a pro.”

Check the November/December 2017 issue of VeloNews for a complete interview with Farrar.

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‘US Cycling is not in a crisis, but a transitional phase’

Newly retired American rider Tyler Farrar talks about the current state of cycling in the USA, and the perceived lack of top-level riders in the WorldTour

Neilson Powless, Ian Boswell and Taylor Phinney of the USA.

Newly retired American rider Tyler Farrar talks about the current state of cycling in the USA, and the perceived lack of top-level riders in the WorldTour

Farrar retires after 12-year racing career

Tyler Farrar, the only American sprinter to win stages in all three grand tours, quietly put an end to his racing career.

In an interview with Peloton, the Dimension Data rider said he decided to end his 12-year racing career despite having a contract for the 2018 season.

“I’ve always done cycling 100 percent,” Farrar told James Startt. “And when I realized that I couldn’t be there at the level I expected of myself, I knew it was time to stop.”

Team officials had said Farrar was mulling his future, and the 33-year-old’s final race was the GP Montreal over the weekend.

Farrar turned pro at 19 and joined Cofidis for the 2006-2007 season before riding for the Slipstream franchise from 2008-2014. It was with Garmin that Farrar enjoyed his best years as he emerged as a direct rival to Mark Cavendish in the bunch sprints.

Farrar notched 29 pro wins, with the first one in 2008 at Tour Du Poitou Charentes. In 2009, he beat Cavendish for the first time in a sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico. That same season, he registered his first of two victories at Vattenfall Cyclassics as well as his first grand tour stage at the Vuelta a España.

In 2010, he won GP Scheldeprijs, two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and two more stages at the Vuelta in what was his best season.

“The stars just aligned there for a few years, and I had a ton of success,” Farrar told VeloNews last year. “When you have a run like that, when you’re really at the top of the game for three years, and when you’re not winning with that consistency, you’re always chasing it and trying to rediscover it.”

In 2011, tragedy struck when Farrar’s best friend and training partner Wouter Weylandt was killed in a crash at that year’s Giro. Farrar and Weylandt’s entire Leopard-Trek team withdrew from the race. In July, Farrar won his only Tour stage, and raised his hands in the form of a “W” to pay honor to his fallen friend. He became the first American to win a Tour stage on the Fourth of July.

After that three-year run, Farrar’s victory haul fell dramatically. He didn’t win again in Europe until 2013, and his final pro win came at the Tour of Beijing in 2014.

Admitting that his race-winning speed was diminished, Farrar switched to Dimension Data in 2015 to slot into a helper’s role for the young, ambitious team. He embraced the role as mentor, and rode in his final Tour in 2016 as a road captain.

Farrar always kept a low profile on social media and settled in Gent, Belgium, to be close to his favorite races of the northern classics.

An avid hunter and skier, Farrar told The Peloton Brief he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life.

“Skiing all winter,” Farrar said. “I think it’s all been amazing. It’s been a great adventure, but sometimes it’s time to start a new chapter, and I am ready for it.”

The post Farrar retires after 12-year racing career appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Tyler Farrar announces retirement from professional cycling

American calls time on 12-year professional career

Tyler Farrar at the 2017 Tour Down Under

Tyler Farrar has announced that he is retiring from professional cycling, putting an end to a 12-year career in the sport.