Cervelo TestTeam's Thor Hushovd Powers to Stage 6 Win in 2010 Vuelta a Espana

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09/2/2010| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen
A proud Thor Hushovd on the podium in Murcia. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
A proud Thor Hushovd on the podium in Murcia. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Cervelo TestTeam's Thor Hushovd Powers to Stage 6 Win in 2010 Vuelta a Espana

Thor Hushovd powers to win in stage 6 of the Tour of Spain 2010 for Cervelo TestTeam; Omega Pharma-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert maintains overall 2010 Vuelta a Espana lead.

Thor Hushovd powers to win in stage 6 of the Tour of Spain 2010 for Cervelo TestTeam; Omega Pharma-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert maintains overall 2010 Vuelta a Espana lead.

Cervelo TestTeam's Thor Hushovd claimed the third Tour of Spain stage win of his career earlier today when he won stage 6 of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana to Murcia. Hushovd also won stages in Cuenca in 2005 and Leon in 2006. It wasn't just another bunch sprint for Hushovd this time as the Norwegian has not won anything like that since stage 3 of the Tour of Missouri one year ago.

He soloed to claim his second Norwegian champion title in June and he was the fastest in a six-man group at the end of stage 3 in Arenberg at the Tour de France this year. Hushovd also finished second after Fabian Cancellara at Paris-Roubaix in April. His career has clearly switched to one of a rider more geared for the classics. He's no longer a pure sprinter.

Hushovd broke a collarbone in May and wasn't able to work specifically on his sprinting prior to the 2010 Tour de France. "I haven't sprinted enough this year for winning against someone like Mark Cavendish," Hushovd acknowledged.

Pure sprinters Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar, Alessandro Petacchi and Oscar Freire were missing in the 70-men peloton that contested the stage victory in Murcia today because of the 2nd category climb of Alto de la Cresta del Gallo located 17 kilometers from the finish.

"When I saw that Bennati was also there for the sprint, he was the man for me to watch", Hushovd commented after the stage finish and added "I also feared Philippe Gilbert and Filippo Pozzato who are fast finishers in small groups."

"When I came to the Vuelta, my first goal was to get back in race rhythm", Hushovd continued "The second goal was to win a stage." Now that he has reached these two goals, he can focus solely on the 2010 road cycling world championships.

At the start of stage 6 in Caravaca de la Cruz, Pozzato identified him as one of the very few sprinters who can survive the repetition of the climbs on the course of Geelong to claim the rainbow jersey in Australia on October 3rd. Hushovd's disadvantage will be the small number of teammates he'll have as Norway can line up with three riders only.

32-year-old Hushovd looked worried when he arrived in Sevilla for the 2010 Tour of Spain. He hadn't imagined that his Cervélo TestTeam team sponsor would close the business prematurely. He was still contracted with them for next year. On Monday he sealed a deal for joining Team Garmin-Cervelo for 2011, whose team manager Jonathan Vaughters was on his side as a teammate when the Norwegian first discovered what it's like to win a stage at the Tour de France. That was the team time trial won by Crédit Agricole in 2001.

Hushovd insisted that six of his current teammates at Cervelo TestTeam would have to follow him to Team Garmin-Cervelo - the team

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