France — Tyler Farrar is looking unbeatable after a second straight win at the Franco-Belge stage race on Friday. The 25-year-old Garmin-Slipstream rider won the bunch sprint—beating Alexandre Usov of Belarus and Jimmy Casper of France—to take Stage 2 and hold onto the yellow leader’s jersey.
Friday’s 225.7-kilometer stage started in Maubege, France, and finished in Poperinge, Belgium. Four riders broke off the front early, building a maximum lead of more than 12 minutes before Farrar’s Garmin-Slipstream squad took control and began to narrow the gap.
The race finished with three 25km circuits, where the breakaway group began to falter. The last of the escapees was caught on the final circuit, 20km before the finish. The final stretch was a wide, straight approach to the finish, where Farrar made his move at precisely the right moment.
“The Française des Jeux guys took control of affairs in the final 500 meters,” Farrar told CyclingNews.com. “I managed to get out of Sébastien Chavanel's wheel and then went flat out.”
Farrar now holds a 12-second lead in the General Classification, which he will attempt to defend in Saturday’s Stage 3.
Belgium-France, October 1-4
1. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, 5:57:09
2. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, same time
3. Jimmy Casper (Fra), Besson Chaussures, same time
4. Tom Veelers (Ned), Skil-Shimano, same time
5. Tom Boonen (Bel), Quick Step, same time
1. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, 11:12:31
2. Kris Boeckmans (Bel), Belgian National Team, at 0:12
3. Danilo Napolitano (Ita), Katusha, at 0:14
4. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, at 0:14
5. Lloyd Mondory (Fra), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:15