SAINT-QUENTIN, France -- U.S. sprinter Tyler Farrar finished the fifth stage of the Tour de France bloodied and angry, and was pulled away from the rider he blamed for causing his third crash in as many days.
Before stunned onlookers, the Wenatchee native dropped his bicycle and stormed toward the Argos-Shimano team bus of rival sprinter Tom Veelers, shouting "you don't do that to someone.”
Argos Shimano riders pushed Farrar away from their bus while staff from the American's Garmin-Sharp team ran to pull him back to their own bus, which was parked nearby.
Neither Farrar nor Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters would comment on the rider's outburst. Roy Curvers, a Dutch rider from Argos-Shimano, said Farrar came looking for Veelers.
"He wanted to talk to Tom, he said you don't do that in a sprint, but I don't know what he was talking about," Curvers said. "Normally Tyler is a really fair guy, when he's a little bit more at ease you can talk about it normally. I don't see a problem for the future.”
Farrar, who has yet to win a race this season, trained hard to get ready for the Tour, where he claimed his first stage win last year on July 4.
He's looking to end his victory drought this season before heading to the London Olympics. Three of the five American male riders who will compete in London are competing in the Tour: Farrar, Tejay van Garderen, and Chris Horner.
Farrar suffered his third crash in five stages. On Tuesday, he went down with dozens of other riders on slippery and narrow roads between Orchies and Boulogne-sur-Mer. On Wednesday, Farrar somersaulted over his handlebars, rolled and ended up on his feet running away from the crash.
Farrar also crashed out of the Giro d'Italia this spring and is struggling in the Tour sprints so far. His team is hoping for a good result in the overall standings following Ryder Hesjedal's win at the Giro.
"If you get through here and you don't get hurt, you are really in the rhythm of racing and you get straight in the Olympics and you are ready to go, that's just the way it works," he said after Tuesday's stage.