Hushovd Wins Stage 8 of Tour
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) has won Stage 8 of the Tour de France.
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) has won Stage 8 of the Tour de France. The Norwegian took a bunch sprint from Kim Karchen (Fassa Bortolo) and Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) to win the rolling, 168-km run from Lamballe to Quimper in 3:54:22. Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangere) remains the maillot jaune.
As has frequently been the case so far in this Tour, the weather was cool and rainy. After several abortive sallies, Jakob Piil (CSC), Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo), Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner), and Karsten Kroon (Rabobank) escaped at 20 km. Kroon punctured and was caught by the bunch, but the others forged a 5:52 lead within two hours.
Quick Step and Credit Agricole led the pursuit. With 10 km left, the peloton caught the fugitives. Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) attacked on the day's last climb, but Robbie McEwen (Lotto) caught him and sat on. Euskaltel reeled in the escape, and then Karchen bolted into the lead. The Luxembourg champion led by 30 m with 500 m left, but Hushovd made his move with 200 m left and passed Karchen.
In the overall, Voeckler leads Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis) by 3:01 and Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux.com) by 4:06. Tomorrow will be the Tour's first rest day. Riders will let their wounds heal, take short rides to keep their legs limber, and prepare for Stage 9, a rolling, 160.5-km run from St. Leonard-de-Noblat, Raymond Poulidor's hometown, to Gueret. The stage should end like Stage 8. Who will win the bunch sprint? McEwen? Hushovd? Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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