Conversation: Revolution in Motion
Updated: March 24, 2008, 2:39 PM ET
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Moments after Tyler Farrar lifts a bouquet on the Tour of California awards podium, he's sitting inside a rented white El Monte recreational vehicle parked on the Stanford University campus, carefully pouring his own urine into two sample bottles. Farrar has just finished a surprise third out of 132 cyclists who flung themselves one by one down a 2.1-mile prologue time trial course ending on picturesque Palm Drive. This is his third anti-doping test in the past five days, counting two previous out-of-competition controls -- as much as most athletes in North American professional team sports are subject to in an entire season. The 23-year-old Slipstream/Chipotle rider was just five seconds shy of world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara of Team CSC and only a second behind British track cycling world champion Bradley Wiggins of Team High Road. On the podium, obviously pleased at the company he's in, Farrar beams beneath his scruff of reddish-blond hair. Threaded through his left ear are two slender glass curlicues, one pale blue, one orange, selected to match his team's funky argyle motif. Veteran CSC press liaison Brian Nygaard turns to reporters standing alongside the platform. "It's quite nice symbolism that it's those three teams on the podium," he says. All have adopted independent anti-doping programs that supplement testing done by national and international entities. Farrar doesn't have much time to savor the performance. A volunteer escort, required to keep him in sight as soon as his number gets pulled for testing, is waiting. Read "Revolution in Motion" by Bonnie D. Ford.