From Chapter 5 of Argyle Armada:
“The day after the time trial win, Navardauskas and Zabriskie keep five breakaway riders within reach for much of the flat 123-mile stage from the seaside village of Olonne-Sur-Mer to Redon. The field captures the breakaway 6 miles from the finish. On the run-in it looks like another Mark Cavendish win is in the offing. But then, with less than 1 kilometer to go, Millar keeps Hushovd protected through a right-hand turn, then the yellow jersey barrels past a stunned Cavendish with Dean and Farrar in tow. Dean takes over from Hushovd and drops off Farrar 250 meters from the finish in Redon.
Farrar wins the team’s second stage in two days. The manner in which Hushovd made it happen is unprecedented. This is the first time a rider wearing both the rainbow stripes of the road world champion and the yellow jersey has led out a teammate for a win in the last 500 meters of a Tour stage. At the finish, Farrar and his two lead-out men reenact the historic moment through a time-delayed doppelgänger; while Farrar coasts past the finish line in real-time, hands held aloft in the shape of a W, on a JumboTron behind them and on TVs around the planet, a time-delayed Farrar is still sprinting, hands on his bars, elbows out with escorts Dean and Hushovd peeling off to his right.
After the stage, Farrar says he won it for Weylandt. The sprinter from the state of Washington is the first American to win a Tour stage on July 4, his country’s Independence Day. As of today the 27-year-old is also the second American to have won stages at all three grand tours—Dave Zabriskie being the first.
At the finish, Millar scrambles through a frenzy of journalists to Farrar. With a Colombian radio reporter providing a live account in machine-gun Spanish to listeners back home, Millar plants a kiss on Farrar’s cheek. Vande Velde hugs Farrar and tells him it’s a great way to celebrate the Fourth. New Zealander Dean is usually emotionless after races, a countenance of blank concentration. Today, however, a smile shows through road grime that covers his face in the patterns of a Maori tattoo.
The marketing return on Farrar’s win rains down within hours. U.S. Senator John Kerry e-mails Vaughters his congratulations. Articles headlining Garmin-Cervélo pop up on media sites around the world. Forbes, CBS, ESPN, The Washington Post, The Guardian: the world’s press is smitten with the story of an American winning on July 4, an American who suffered tragedy months earlier with the loss of his dear friend. The next day’s L’Équipe headline reads, in English, “Farrar’s Day” with a fullpage photo of Farrar with his hands forming a W.”
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