Hushovd Wins Stage 1 of Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) has drawn first blood in the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon, which was formerly known as the Midi Libre. Hushovd outsprinted Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) and Jerome Pineau (Brioches La Boulangere) to win the hilly, 167-km ride from Maury to Port-Vendres in 4:20:23.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. At 20 km, Walter Beneteau (Brioches La Boulangere), Jeremy Roy (La Francaise des Jeux.com), and Philippe Koehler (Mr. Bookmaker.com) attacked. On the Col de la Bataille (89 km), Koehler was dropped, but Beneteau and Roy forged a 6:30 lead by 111 km.
Credit Agricole, Ag2r, and Phonak began to chase. On the Cote de Port-Vendres (159 km), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel) and Laurent Lefevre (Brioches La Boulangere) bridged up to the break, but the bunch reeled it in with eight km left. The stage came down to a bunch sprint, which Hushovd won.
In the overall, Hushovd leads Dumoulin by 0:03 and Pineau by 0:06. Stage 2 will be another hilly stage, a 188-km one from Port-Leucate to Narbonne that will feature four categorized climbs. Will Hushovd keep his lead? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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