Tyler Farrar finally accomplished one of his long-standing goals on July, winning a stage at the Tour de France with a sprint to the finish. Farrar, whose path to the 2011 Tour de France has been a rocky one, flew to the front of the pack at the end of the 123-mile stage, crossing the finish line first with his arms raised. His win was the first American victory on July 4 in the history of the Tour de France.
It's been a solid Tour de France for Farrar's team, Garmin-Cervelo. In addition to Farrar's July 4 win, Garmin-Cervelo won Sunday's team time trial, vaulting Thor Hushovd into first place in the overall standings and earning him the right to wear the yellow jersey. Farrar also picked up valuable points in an intermediate sprint during the first stage of the 2011 Tour de France.
As Farrar crossed the finish line, with his first-ever Tour de France stage victory in hand, he held up his hands and formed a 'W' in tribute to Wouter Weylandt. In the Giro D'Italia, Weylandt passed away following a tragic accident during a stage -- an event that hit Farrar, a friend and training partner of Weylandt's hard. Farrar pulled out of the Giro d'Italia and went into a downward spiral, leaving some to wonder whether he'd be ready for the Tour de France after a series of disappointing results.
If Monday was any indication, Farrar is certainly ready, and will be a force to contend with in the race for the green jersey. Currently, Farrar is second in the sprint standings, seven points behind leader Jose Joaquin Rojas. Hushovd and Garmin-Cervelo teammate David Millar are tied for the Tour de France overall lead, with Hushovd in yellow.
For the latest on Farrar's journey, stay with our Tour de France StoryStream. For more on the race, including full coverage and results, visit SB Nation's Tour de France StoryStream or stop by Podium Cafe.