Special Feature: Tyler Farrar

10 Sep

By now, everyone reading this blog knows we’re big track cycling fans. There’s almost no mention of road cycling or any other cycling discipline save for the sports sciences section. Now now, that doesn’t mean we don’t like road cycling. It’s actually quite the opposite, we love road cycling. Before we got into the track, we loved the road. It was our passion. Not only that, studying sports sciences and physical therapy in university, it was almost imperative that one get in love with a sport. And in the US, road cycling is undoubtedly more popular than track cycling. So, we’d like to do something different again for this blog. We’re going to feature someone who we most admire and whom we’re big fans of. This person holds a special place in our hearts, well for reasons that maybe are personal but also because he’s like the model for the young cyclist who likes to make it big in the sport. We’re talking about professional road racing cyclist Tyler Farrar.

So who’s Tyler Farrar? Well, he’s this guy who comes from this small town in Washington called Wenatchee. And this is where our story begins. Our families moved from Colorado to Washington sometime in 1995. We settled down in Seattle, but due to some circumstances we kept on moving from one place to another. During this time, through events we can no longer remember, we came to know Tyler Farrar. Back then he was still this young, high-spirited guy who loves the bike. Ty, as we usually call him, re-introduced us to this sport.

We instantly fell in love with the bike despite the injuries that resulted from it due to our carelessness. Tyler showed a passion for the sport that left us dumbfounded on all levels. We realized this was how a true cyclist felt about the sport. Not only that, Ty was the nicest person we have ever met in Washington. During a time when moving to different places was difficult, Ty, and his family as well as a lot friends helped us adjust to the sudden change in environment.

So, there our relationship with this cyclist started. It wasn’t long then that he joined several cycling teams and events and we joined the townspeople of Wenatchee in cheering him, and as we can recall some of his friends went all the way to cheer for him in Europe using only saved money. Well, yeah, his fans are passionate about supporting him. While we decided to go study sports sciences and physical therapy, Ty decided to do the same course online in the same university as ours, and somehow that made us practically classmates despite seeing him like only once or twice a month. Now, we rarely see Ty as he now lives in Europe. Despite that, we still remain big fans of him along with the Wenatchee guys and we await his return.

So, I guess that was too much story telling on our part. Tyler’s career highlights is impressive. He isn’t dominating in the sport but he is quite visible. Ty started racing at 13, and rode for Jelly Belly in 2003, Health Net-Maxxis in 2004, and Cofidis in 2006 and 2007. In April 2006 he crashed near the finish of the Circuit de la Sarthe and broke his collarbone and missed most of the season. For the 2008 season, he transferred to Slipstream-Chipotle and currently rides for Garmin-Transitions. He has won stages in the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, and Three Days of De Panne. He wore the yellow jersey on stage three of the 2008 Tour of California after winning intermediate sprint points during stage two. Tyler has joined nearly countless races and won in a lot of them including the Tour de France (more on that later).

If anyone is familiar with Tyler, you’d have known that Tyler has raced in both the road and track disciplines. And in the road, he is the sprinter for his team (Garmin-Transitions). And if you’ve noticed by now, his physique is somewhat similar to the track cyclists. His build is that of a combination of ectomorph and mesomorph rather than a pure ectomorphic build so common among road cyclists. You might have noticed that comparing him to the other road cyclists, he has a somewhat more muscular and athletic build with well defined muscles in the chest and torso yet has lean upper extremities and his thighs are bigger and more developed than the other road cyclists. This is the typical build of a road sprinter. A combination of both the lean and muscular. Notice that it is quite similar to Mark Cavendish’, a British former track cyclist who is now a road sprinter going directly against Tyler Farrar. The discipline of road cycling is quite different in the sense that it requires both endurance and speed. The body builds and physique of most road cyclists are then of the ectomorphic type. Track sprinters with all their muscle wouldn’t survive the road since their specialty is with short sprints of power and speed and their body builds are definitely detrimental to them since their weight and the mature and large muscle mass wouldn’t survive the longer routes and the steep hill climbs of the road. Now back to Tyler’s physique: He is 6 ft tall which is quite tall for a cyclist, and weighs 74 kg (160 lb) which is an appropriate weight for his height and for a road sprinter.

A lot of people have referred to Tyler Farrar as the next sprint sensation. Until now, he hasn’t quite delivered on that promise… yet. Tyler still excels in the sprints and he is quite a formidable contender. He has never dominated it but nevertheless shows considerable promise and we believe in that promise and potential. Now, back to the Tour de France. Tyler gained significant attention during this year’s Tour de France with the drama surrounding Stage 11. So what happened? I’m sure you can find videos out there but this is basically what happened: Mark Cavendish’s leadout man, Mark Renshaw put Cav at the right spot to win that stage by headbutting Tyler’s leadout man Julian Dean not once but 3 times, then Cav drifted over a lane on the road so Tyler couldn’t pass effectively closing the door. Tyler had no choice but to pause and wait for the right time to sprint into the 3rd place. Mark Renshaw was booted from the Tour thereafter. Now we won’t discuss whether Renshaw deserved the boot here. So what was Tyler’s reaction? Check it out in this video. Tyler acted maturely, and even managed to praise his opponent instead of lambasting him saying “Cav.. he’s one of the best in the world. They can still win if they ride a clean sprint.” He’s not being an ass by not making a big deal out of it, or being a hothead. Such an admirable person indeed.

Well, we’re going to have to say this again. Tyler is quite possibly the nicest professional road cyclist we have ever met and mind you, we have met a lot. We’re a bit biased because of our personal experience with him but a lot of people agree with us. Journalists, fans, other cyclists praise him for his personality. A genuinely nice kid. We last met Ty when he visited his hometown. He was still the same person, kind, polite, accomodating, honest and very friendly. His popularity thankfully has not made him an airhead and he remains down to earth and even-keeled. Oh, and we almost forgot, this guy is staggeringly handsome in person. A true cyclist hottie. But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but we consider Tyler the hottest road cyclist out there. We wish him good luck in his future races and hopefully someday we will cheer for you again together with the Wenatchee guys (shout out to Luke, Jason and Ella!) So here’s more photos of him.

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