Tyler Farrar: A Fan Saved My Race

on a borrowed bike at the Tour Down Under….

Today’s race started with a lot of nervous legs. It was a big day for GC, and there was a big crash with 20k to go. Everyone is nervous at the bottom of corkscrew, the final climb and unfortunately there was a bit of a pile up. I tumbled up into the rocks a bit, and my foot was stuck in the rocks. (upside down)

I got up from the crash, the team checked my bike and everything seemed ok, so the car moved back to the front to help the guys further up the road. At about 5k later I noticed the derailleur on my bike was completely broken.


There were two fans on the side of the road, and they came to my rescue. They asked me what size I was and was quickly offered a bike from one of them! I didn’t ride the same pedals he rides so we couldn’t swap over so he gave me his shoes as well. (luckily we have similar sized feet) He went to the end of the race in the sag wagon for me. In 14 years as a professional this was the first time I’ve ever had this experience.

The bike that got Tyler to the line
The bike that got Tyler to the line

I couldn’t stop saying thank you over and over again. He saved my tour. I really didn’t want to come to Australia to do 2.5 days of racing. It’s a pretty cool look into how nice people in Australia are.

He’s gonna love his new Strava record on corkscrew now. Thanks man!




Words: Tyler Farrar


The hero fan is Anthony,  @pushiefiend on instagram, and the team has very happily given him a full set of team kit for his valiant sacrifice.

18 thoughts on “Tyler Farrar: A Fan Saved My Race

    1. Normally he would be disqualified for receiving un-sanctioned assistance but both his team car and neutral service were up the road so they bent the rules this once.

    2. Unlike the wonderful organisation of the Giro, the Australians understood that the spirit of the sport was more important than the rules.

    3. That was my initial thought too but I suspect the spectator counts as “neutral” while taking a wheel from an opposing team is viewed as “collusion”.

    4. The race organisers issued a statement saying:

      “Race officials have confirmed Farrar will be allowed to continue the race as an exception to the rule because a bad crash with several other riders involved created a hectic situation.

      “(It) meant neither his team car nor the event’s neutral service vehicle was in a position to provide assistance.

      “This ruling respects the spirit of the sport and considers the rather exceptional circumstances in which this occurred.

      “In normal circumstances accepting outside assistance such as Farrar did today would result in his disqualification from the race.”

  1. The rules regarding equipment sharing needs looking into and changing. How can you not be allowed to accept a wheel from another team yet be allowed to accept a WHOLE bike from a spectator? The people who offer their equipment should be applauded, not punished.

  2. I remember the same thing happened there a good few years back.. can’t remember who it was but remember it was a Colnago C40 (I think) and the bloke standing on the side of the road had same bike and same size!

    1. Yep, I loaned my bike to Mick Rogers near the top of Mengler’s Hill. Still keep in touch with him, he’s a bonzer bloke. Bike is in storage back in Aus while I’m in the US for work. Adam

  3. How was the De Rosa, Tyler? Looks like Anthony had it set up for a sprinter, stem’s proper slammed!

  4. @robbo. You not allowed to use a spectators bike either, but the race officials made and exception as it didnt impact the rankings at the front end of the race as was the case in the Giro. So in the spirit of the day they let it go. Good on them. Great outcome all round

  5. True Aussie sportsmanship all round. Not to mention the generosity of the team in appreciation. Everybody wins.

  6. Jens Voigt did the same thing in the 2010 Tour de France. He finished the stage on a kids bike that was too small for him.

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