Would you take a chance on Tyler Farrar?

Doug Pensinger

Cyclingnews is reporting that Tyler Farrar, the 29 year old sprinter/classics-rider is currently unsure of his future. He has not yet been offered an extension at Garmin-Sharp and it doesn't sound as if he has other offers either at the moment. Having had two difficult seasons since the death of Wouter Weyland for all sorts of reasons he predictably isn't too hot an item on a transfer market that seems a bit of a buyer's market with riders from folding teams flooding the market and no big new projects starting up.

Being an old PdC favorite this brings the question: Would you take a gamble on Farrar if you managed a team? Also, which teams could see it as a smart move to sign the guy who is obviously a bit of an unknown quality?

Pros:

- The guy has proven for years that on his good days he actually has the speed to be competitive even against a man like Cav . And it wasn't any fluke either, he was performing dependently for years.

- He is a solid double threat. He was turned into a sprinter almost by accident but at heart he is a classics man. Living in Gent and steeped in the Belgian style of racing he has a solid if not brilliant record in the spring.

- Bargain time! Sorry to say for the guy but the reality of the value of your next contract is 99% based on your recent results. And Farrar has none, basically. If he wants to ride top level he will have to take a pay cut. Bad for him, an opportunity for managers.

Cons:

- Proven yes, but that was some time ago now. In most races recently he has been a non-factor. In the CN piece he paints that as being in a rebuilding year from injuries and that may be but for sprinters that "Best-before:"-date is a thing to keep in mind as they start approaching their thirties.

- Double threat as he may be he didn't really thrive when he focused on the classics and going back to the sprint focus hasn't really panned out either. Today he looks a little like a guy who isn't terribly successful as either.

- Sprinting ain't what it used to  be. Since Farrar had his best results we've seen the emergence of Sagan and Kittel, Greipel has elevated to another level with a Lotto-train that is among the best and we've got a truckload of young guys knocking seriously on the door. And let's face it, sprinting is a young man's game.

- Where is his mind?  Ever since I can remember the criticism and skepticism surrounding Farrar has been about his mental attitude and his racing intelligence. Since the crash and death of his friend and training partner Weylandt that has only become a bigger issue. Whether that is just speculation in the fan discussions or whether it is actually something that is on the mind of Tyler himself is hard to know but it is a genuine concern. Top level cycling, sprinting in particular, is not a game for the less than 100% committed. Only bad things can come from it.

Being a long time favorite of mine I'd like to see the guy get a second chance. He is comfortable in the familiar Garmin surroundings but perhaps a move wouldn't be the worst idea. A team that needs a co-captain/fast-man for the spring classics and can afford to take a chance on a guy who they can't put tons of pressure on could do very well with Farrar but it's by no means a sure thing. I want to say a team like IAM for example. Haussler/Farrar is not a bad combo and they seem to have a little of the small team feel that Farrar has thrived in before. I'm not entirely sure that he will find a ride though. Would you hire the guy?

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