Hushovd officially renounces Olympic Games due to lack of form
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Hushovd officially renounces Olympic Games due to lack of form

by Shane Stokes at 10:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics, Injury
 
2010 world champion to miss London 2012, Vergard Stake will take his place

Thor HushovdAs anticipated, the 2010 world road race champion Thor Hushovd has confirmed he won’t ride this year’s Olympic Games due to a lack of form. The BMC Racing Team rider was a non-starter on Saturday’s fifth stage of the Tour of Poland, with the problems which led to a quiet early part of the season plus his withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia persisting.

“The Olympics has been a major goal of the season and with a course that would suit me very well,” he said today. “My focus is that Norway will provide the best possible team during the road race in London, and when the body is not functioning optimally, unfortunately, I must refrain. I wish the guys good luck in the Olympics.”

The announcement was made after consultation with national team director Steffen Kjærgaard, his coach Atle Kvålsvoll and the Olympiatoppen organisation, which works with elite athletes in relation to the Games.

Kvålsvoll confirmed yesterday that Hushovd had been suffering this year from 'mononucleosis or a similar disease.'

Kjærgaard regrets losing such a strong rider, but accepted that there was no chance that he would ride as well as he had hoped. “We are in agreement with Thor himself and Olympiatoppen and decided to let him abstain from the Norwegian team for the Olympics in London” he said. “This is sad for Norwegian cycling and especially for Thor, particularly when the Olympics has a course that is absolutely comparable to Geelong, where he took the World Championship Gold in 2010.”

The team’s top hopes will rely instead on Edvald Boasson Hagen, who could perform strongly in the race providing he is not too worn out after riding for his Sky Procycling team-mate Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France.

Hushovd’s place on the four-man team will be taken up by the Team Type 1 Sanofi rider Vegard Stake. He raced for the past two seasons as an under 23 rider on the Joker Merida team, and while he’s not as strong as an in-form Hushovd would be, Kjærgaard believes he’ll do well in the support role.

“With Vegard we still have a powerful Olympic team that will compete for medals in London,” he said.

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