Hushovd hampered by breathing problems in Flanders, hopes to perform better in Roubaix
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Monday, April 01, 2013

Hushovd hampered by breathing problems in Flanders, hopes to perform better in Roubaix

by VeloNation Press at 12:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
 
Norwegian non-finisher yesterday, Van Avermaet satisfied with seventh

Thor HushovdThor Hushovd had hoped to be a factor in the finale of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, saying beforehand that he considered it possible to aim for the victory in the race, but the BMC Racing Team rider was ultimately a non-finisher in yesterday’s Classic.

Affected by respiratory issues, he is hoping to bounce back fully for next week’s Paris-Roubaix, his top goal of the season.

Hushovd, who lined out yesterday for his twelfth participation, dropped out for only the second time. “I felt quite good from the start and I had good feeling in the legs, so I know my form was there,” he said, describing his initial optimism. However he soon discovered that things were not quite right. “When I wanted to go deep, I had a problem with my breathing. It was like I was breathing through a straw.”

He said that he decided to play things cautiously. “I knew with that feeling, I could do nothing in the race. I was already suffering. So instead of trying to hang in there, I decided to stop and look forward to Paris-Roubaix, to get well again and to hopefully get rid of this problem.”

Paris-Roubaix has long been a major career focus for the Norwegian. He won the under 23 edition as a young rider, was third in 2009 and then second in 2010.

He now has six days to get fully healthy, and will hope that he performs closer to his true capacity in next Sunday’s race.

With Hushovd out of the race, Greg Van Avermaet stepped up to log a decent seventh place. It wasn’t the victory the team had hoped to achieve, but he was relatively satisfied afterwards.

“It was a hard race, but I had good legs and condition. I did a good race, I think,” he said. “But when Cancellara and (Peter) Sagan went at the last climb of the Kwaremont it wasn't possible to follow both of them. It was too fast, I was at my limit at that moment.”

He too will hope to ride well in Roubaix. The duo will be joined there by Taylor Phinney, a double winner of the under 23 version of the race.

Phinney was originally due to compete in Flanders, but sat the race out due to a knee problem.

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