GUEUGNON, France (Reuters) - Tyler Farrar broke his wrist in the second stage of the Tour de France but the American was able to push hard on the pedals to claim an honorable second place four days later.
The Garmin-Transitions rider crashed with about half of the peloton on Monday and few would have imagined he would be able to get back on the bike the day after for the punishing third stage on the cobblestones.
Farrar fought the pain and by Thursday he was sprinting again -- a valiant effort since part of the body weight lies on the wrists.
“Fortunately I was too stupid to pull out,” Farrar told reporters after Friday’s stage following his second place behind Briton Mark Cavendish.
“It was not easy today because of the heat but the team worked really hard. Unfortunately I did not win but I am happy to be fighting for victory with a broken wrist.”
Farrar first tried his luck on Thursday but it was too soon as he ended up a mediocre 10th in the bunch sprint.
“Yesterday I think he made a misjudgment, he said he was good but it hurt him a lot in the finale,” his team mate and lead out man Robbie Hunter said.
“Today during the stage he said he didn’t have much pain.”
According to South African Hunter, the team came close but Farrar could not follow him to the end.
“We were all organized in the final. It’s a pity Tyler lost our wheel and ended up behind Cav,” he said.
“When Cav accelerated so hard like that, it’s hard to come by. Had I had Tyler in my wheel today it would have been a different story because I found myself with a few hundreds to go and I turned around Tyler was missing, I hesitated, I didn’t want to pull the sprint for Cav and he had his guys who worked perfectly for him.”
But Farrar is confident that once the Alpine stages are behind him, he will be able to win a stage.
“I‘m optimistic for next week,” he said.
Editing by Pritha Sarkar