Hushovd withdraws from Tour of Beijing while sitting second overall
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hushovd withdraws from Tour of Beijing while sitting second overall

by VeloNation Press at 7:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Daughter’s illness prompts Norwegian rider to return home

Thor HushovdSecond overall after Saturday’s second stage, Thor Hushovd made an unexpected withdrawal from the race due to a family issue.

The Norwegian rider, who clocked up his ninth win of the year on Friday’s opening stage, headed home after his daughter was hospitalized due to an undisclosed illness.

Hushovd would have started today’s stage level on time with day two winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and had a chance of retaking the race lead. However being with his family was more important, and his season has now ended.

“Obviously, it is a big disappointment,” he said, prior to heading to the airport. “First of all, I am happy to have won a stage. It was too bad I lost the jersey, but I now I just have to fix my things. It is like this. Of course, I wish I could finish my season in downtown Beijing on Tuesday.”

Hushovd had an up and down year, with stage one of the Tour du Haut Var his sole victory early on, but a strong second half saw him take the win in the Norwegian national championships, plus a stage of the Tour of Austria, two stages in the Tour of Poland, two stages and the overall in the Arctic Race of Norway and Friday’s stage one win in Beijing.

Asked if he considered the season a success, he said that second half turned things around. “In the end it was. I had my ups and downs in the beginning of the year,” he said. “My Classics (season) was a disaster. But I had nine wins, which is quite good. So in total, I am satisfied with my season.”

Hushovd will take a break and then start working towards 2014, when he hopes to be back in peak form for the Classics. Milan Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix are likely to be key targets but, before then, he will spend time with his family and with his daughter after she returns home.



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