Hushovd Takes Stage 3 of Etoile des Besseges; Leads Race
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) has won Stage 3 of the Etoile des Besseges.
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) has won Stage 3 of the Etoile des Besseges. The Norwegian won a crash-marred sprint to take the 160-km run from Nimes to Fumades, in 4:10:28. Magnus Backstedt (Alessio-Bianchi) finished second, and Carlos Da Cruz (La Francaise des Jeux.com) took third. During the day, Hushovd gained enough seconds from bonus sprints and the crash to become the race leader with two stages remaining.
Frederik Willems (Vlaanderen-T Interim) made the day's big break. At 30 km, Willems left the peloton and stayed away until the last 10 km. Landbouwkrediet-Colnago and Ag2r-Prevoyance controlled the peloton and led the field into the sprint.
With 500 m left, Backstedt led the field through the day's final turn. Behind him, two riders touched wheels and crashed. Other riders fell or were delayed by the pileup. Ahead, Hushovd overtook Backstedt in the last 200 m to take the day's honors.
In the overall, Hushovd leads Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r-Prevoyance) by 0:06 and Tom Steels (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) by 0:08. Stage 4 will be a 150-km ride from Branoux-les-Taillades to Les Salles du Gardon. Will Hushovd remain the leader? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!