Tyler Farrar capped off the Vuelta a Espana with a final stage win in downtown Madrid on Sunday by basically outlasting Mark Cavendish on the sprint to the finish.
It was the second Vuelta win for the Garmin-Transitions cyclist from Wenatchee, Wash. He also won Stage 5. Cavendish had three individual wins at the Vuelta.
The overall leaders all finished in the peloton on this flat final stage, marked by 12 circuits around Spain's capital city. Italy's Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) earned the overall Vuelta championship, a victory he solidified on Saturday's amazing summit finish on Bella del Mundo.
The second place finish on Stage 21 secured the green points jersey for Cavendish. Had Cavendish finished further back, Farrar would have been in a position to take the sprint jersey on the last day. Cavendish earned 156 points to Farrar's 149.
France's David Moncoutie (Cofidis) won the mountains jersey.
The race was marked by a five-man breakaway on most of the circuits around Madrid. Garmin-Transitions and HTC-Columbia marshalled their forces at the front of the peloton to reel them back in. Then Columbia kept up the pressure until the final kilometer, when QuickStep came to the front and drove the peloton.
On the sprint, Cavendish came up the right side and Farrar on the left. At one point, you could see Cavendish looking across at Farrar as he slipped steadily ahead.
Farrar, 26, grew up in the central Washington town of Wenatchee. His father is an orthopedic surgeon who has been fighting back from a bicycle crash with a car for the past several years.
Farrar competed in all three Grand Tours this year, winning two stages at the Giro d'Italia and two in the Vuelta. He was shut out at the Tour de France. He won his first Grand Tour stage at the Vuelta last year.
In addition to celebrating Farrar's final victory, the Garmin-Transitions team could also celebrate the Top 10 finish for Tom Danielson, coming in at No. 9 in the overall competition.
Top 10 in Vuelta a Espana
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)
2. Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) – 43 seconds
3. Peter Velits (HTC-Columbia) – 3:04
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) – 4:22
5. Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) – 4:45
6. Xavier Tondo (Cervelo) – 4:54
7. Nicholas Roche (AG2R) – 5:05
8. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) – 6:08
9. Tom Danielson (Garmin Transitions) – 6:18
10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) – 7:44