I’ll never forget the morning of the 4th of July in 2011.

My son was 3 ½ months old and we are about to take him down to a neighborhood 4th of July mini-parade. My phone starts to vibrate with text messages with the exciting news that Wenatchee’s Tyler Farrar has just won a sprint stage - Stage 3 in the Tour de France! - on the 4th of July!

Le Tour de France 2012 - Previews
Tyler Farrar (2012) Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

No American sprinter has won a sprint stage at the Tour de France since. Warning: Video is NSFW - Bad Language

Flash forward to 2017 - Tyler Farrar retires from professional cycling.

One day he was in Belgium and the next he was gone with a one-way plane ticket - for home in the state of Washington.

Flash forward to today - Tyler Farrar works 48-hour shifts for the Kirkland Fire Department.  Two days on, two days off.

Becoming a firefighter had always been at the back of Tyler's mind - even when he was a senior at Wenatchee High School, winning the downtown Wenatchee criterium, on his prom night. 

A career in professional cycling was next - his dream to serve the public as a firefighter was put on hold.

"Being a firefighter was always something that sat in the back of my head when I was racing. I wanted to do it when I was a kid but I was having a lot of success racing bikes, but firefighting was always a job that I wanted to pursue once I knew that cycling was over for me. When I stopped cycling I just went straight into trying to be a firefighter and I gave it the same level of dedication."  -Tyler Farrar via Cyclingnews

After Tyler Farrar retired from cycling, he worked hard studying to become an EMT - an Emergency Medical Technician. He then completed his training with a fire academy. Then in 2018, he applied to several fire departments. 

Tyler was quickly hired by the Kirkland Fire Department. 


"There are a lot of similarities, culturally," he says. "That’s why I like it. There’s a team atmosphere...That’s similar to being on a team bus but the job is different. We’re an all-hazards fire department so in addition to firefighting we’re who shows up if you’re having a medical emergency. Every shift I work is dynamic, and I don’t know what I’m going to face. I’m still learning and every day is different but it’s been a really good fit for me." -Tyler Farrar via Cyclingnews

USOC Portrait Shoot
Tyler Farrar (2011) Harry How/Getty Images for USOC

Even when he was winning stages in all three World Tour races and beating household names in Europe - Tyler always appeared humble and modest.

In 2019, I met him at Arlberg Sports at a Tour de Bloom rider check-in. Tyler had been retired for a couple of years - still stopping by to support Tour de Bloom, the biggest cycling race on the Wenatchee calendar.

I'll never forget how down-to-earth he was. A stage winner in all three world tours? You'd never know when talking with him.

While much of Farrar’s life has changed in the last few years he and his long-time partner are busy raising their 5-year-old son. The dedication he put into cycling - now is focused on his new profession of serving the community.

INFO: Cycling News, NBC Sports

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