Hushovd gunning to win Paris-Roubaix in 2012, expects full team support
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hushovd gunning to win Paris-Roubaix in 2012, expects full team support

by VeloNation Press at 8:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Believes dynamic between he and Gilbert will lead to big successes

Thor HushovdHe missed out on his goal of winning the race while in the rainbow jersey of world champion but Thor Hushovd remains fixated on winning Paris-Roubaix before the end of his career, and aims to do so with the BMC Racing Team next season.

Last April he came up against an extremely strong Fabian Cancellara and his Garmin-Cervélo team successfully played a second card, that of Johan Van Summeren, who had got clear in an earlier break and soloed to success. In 2012, he says that he will have the complete backing of the BMC Racing Team

“I think I can [win],” he told l’ “This year, I would already have imposed myself but I played the team card after Van Summeren had attacked beforehand. Next year, I think I will start with a whole team working for me, but that does not necessarily mean that I will impose myself on the velodrome ...”

Hushovd has moved to the BMC Racing Team, where he will enjoy a lucrative contract as well as the backing of a very strong lineup. Some have predicted a possible clash of tactics with world number one Philippe Gilbert, who in 2011 was the man of the Classics, but Hushovd doesn’t appear concerned.

“We have a team that can win on any terrain, in the Classics and the Grand Tours. I think this [having other strong leaders] is not a problem,” he explained. “For example, we all know that Philippe Gilbert can win Milan-San Remo by attacking the Poggio, and if it does not work, I will be here to try to impose myself in the sprint. I think Gilbert is equally capable of winning the Tour of Flanders and I will be there to help.”

Hushovd starts training again today and will work hard until Christmas. After that he is due to go on a training camp with the BMC Racing Team, and will have a chance to get to know the other riders then. He didn’t really fit into Garmin-Cervélo and is glad to have a fresh start, believing that things will work out better for him. As a result, he embraces the responsibility that he has.

“I know that the team relies heavily on me for results and I do not want to disappoint it.”

Hushovd had a slow start to 2011, in terms of picking up a win in the rainbow jersey, but broke that duck when he clocked up a stage in the Tour de Suisse. He also took two stage wins in the Tour de France, led the race for over a week and took another stage success in the Tour of Britain.

His latest trophy was secured yesterday when he won the AIJC award for being the most helpful top rider to journalists.


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