Hushovd on losing Arctic Tour of Norway lead: ‘What counts is tomorrow’
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hushovd on losing Arctic Tour of Norway lead: ‘What counts is tomorrow’

by VeloNation Press at 2:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
BMC Racing Team rider remains focussed on battling for final overall victory

Thor HushovdAlthough he slipped back from the race leadership he assumed when winning yesterday’s second stage of the race, Thor Hushovd continues to believe that he can win the first Arctic Race of Norway, and is determined to try to claw back time on tomorrow’s final day.

The Norwegian rider finished fifth in the bunch sprint which decided the 201.5 kilometre race to Stokmarknes. Nikias Arndt (Team Argos-Shimano) was first to the line, beating stage one winner Kenny Van Hummel and his Vacansoleil DCM team-mate Barry Markus.

Hushovd finished just behind the fourth-placed rider, Benoit Drujon (BigMat-Auber 93).

Once the time bonuses were calculated Van Hummel took over once again at the top, ending the day three seconds clear of Hushovd and six ahead of Markus.

“It was another beautiful stage with nice scenery,” said Hushovd afterwards. “The guys had to work a lot so it's a shame that I couldn't keep the jersey. But what counts is tomorrow.”

Earlier, eight riders clipped away and remained clear until close to the end. The remnants of the break were reeled in ten kilometres from the line, after which the sprinters’ teams started jostling for position.

That chase made things hard for Hushovd’s team-mates, as the BMC Racing assistant director Yvon Ledanois explained. “It was a difficult day. There was a lot of work after forty kilometres as there was this breakaway of eight riders going full gas. In the last thirty kilometres, with the tailwind, it was very fast, so it was a lot of work for the team today.”

Hushovd and the team would like to still be in the lead heading into the final day, of course, but Ledanois also sees an upside to what happened. The onus will be on Van Hummel and his Vacansoleil DCM team to defend the lead, while the BMC Racing Team riders will be able to wait and then try to strike at the right moment.

“I think it is better for tomorrow,” said Ledanois. “Three seconds is nothing and I am sure for tomorrow that there will be a good reaction.”

Hushovd made clear before the race that he had two goals; to win a stage, and to take the overall classification. He’s achieved the first of those goals. Tomorrow will determine if he can do so with the second.


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