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by Shane Stokes
September 9, 2014
Bringing to end a near-decade with one team and embarking on a new project with another, Tyler Farrar has confirmed that he will race with the Team MTN-Qhubeka squad in 2015.
The American has taken six individual stages in Grand Tours; one in the 2011 Tour de France, two in the 2010 Giro d’Italia and three Vuelta stages between 2009 and 2010.
However his rate of victories has slowed in the past two seasons and the 30 year old is looking for a fresh start to try to get things back on track.
“I am really excited and happy to be joining Team MTN-Qhubeka next year,” he said. “This is a big change for me in my cycling career after having spent seven years with my current team. I feel it is the perfect timing for me to move on though and Team MTN-Qhubeka is definitely the team that appealed to me the most.”
Farrar is part of a general fortifying of the team; new signings include Edvald Boasson Hagen and Theo Bos and, together with the current team captain Gerald Ciolek, the team will have a strong sprinting and Classics presence in 2015.
It is pushing hard for a place in the 2015 Tour de France and believes that the new recruits will make that goal more likely to achieve.
“Tyler Farrar is an incredible asset to Team MTN-Qhubeka, a stage winner in all three grand tours and a prolific contender in the Classics,” team Principal Douglas Ryder said. “His inclusion will help our team move forward and maintain our position in the upper echelons of world cycling.
“Tyler is one of the most successful riders to come out of the United States of America. His inclusion helps globalize our team in support of developing cycling on the African continent through the Qhubeka foundation.”
Garmin-Sharp has moved in the opposite direction to MTN-Qhubeka in recent years. While the latter is clearly focussing on sprints for next season, the American team has looked more towards the general classification in Grand Tours plus the hillier Classics.
That has meant that Farrar has lacked the leadout trains of some of the other teams. It remains to be seen if he will slot in as a sprint leader or as a leadout man; either way, the change of scenery should be beneficial for his motivation.
“The team is building a strong group of riders that will win races next year and I look forward to being a part of that, as both a winner and support rider,” he said.
Like Ryder, he too recognises that the globalisation of the sport is important. “The African continent is a huge untapped area when it comes to cycling. You just need to look at what Africa is doing in track and field to realise the potential. Team MTN-Qhubeka is leading the way for the African continent in that regard and so it is a project that I really want to be part of.”