PARIS, France — Tyler Farrar was foiled again by cycling’s ever-advancing speedster Mark Cavendish with the Wenathee rider finishing fourth Sunday in the 21st and final stage of the 2011 Tour de France.
Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) of Great Britain claimed his fifth stage of the 98th edition and 20th career win in the event while completing 59-mile stage from Creitel in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 2 seconds.
Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo), who won stage 3 and also finished second and third in stages, didn’t have a strong line to the finish and couldn’t move past runner-up Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) of Norway or third-place finisher Andre Greipel (Omaga-Pharma Lotto) of Germany. Hagen won two stages of the race and Greipel also won a stage.
It was the second finish of cycling’s biggest race for Farrar. He completed the event in his debut in 2009. But last year abandoned the race in the 12th stage after riding for 10 days with a fractured bone in his right hand.
Farrar, whose squad claimed the team title by 11 minutes and 4 seconds over Leopard-Trek of Luxembourg, placed 159th among 167 finishers from a starting field of 198 in Passage du Gois, France, on July 2. He was 3:38:32 behind overall winner Cadel Evans of Australia.
Evans (BMC), who became the race’s fifth leader with his time trial win in stage 20, placed 56th in the final stage among the main field of 151 all given the same finishing time in the largely ceremonial final stage for overall contenders.
Evans, twice an overall runner-up, was victorious by 1:34 over Andy Schleck and 2:30 over Frank Schleck, the older of the Luxembourg brothers and leaders of the Leopard-Trek team.