Thor Hushovd unperturbed by Cervelo's loss of Carlos Sastre
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Thor Hushovd unperturbed by Cervelo's loss of Carlos Sastre

by Jered Gruber at 3:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
"He has not really done crap the last two years."

The announcement of Carlos Sastre's departure from the Cervelo Test Team came as a surprise today, but it's not one that two-time Tour de France Green Jersey winner, Thor Hushovd, is all too worried about. In fact, he's more than frank in his summation of the two years the 2008 Tour de France winner spent with the team.

"He has not really done crap the last two years."

In a conversation with VG Nett, Hushovd contends that his Cervelo team does not need a Grand Tour contender to get an invite to the Tour de France. Norwegian commentator for TV2, Johan Kaggestad, noted earlier today the need for Cervelo to pick up a new rider capable of high placings in the Grand Tours. This year's Paris-Roubaix-esque stage winner at the Tour de France takes specific aim at Kaggestad's commentary.

"I totally do not agree with Johan. We are not dependent on an overall rider. Look at the other teams - not everyone has overall riders, though some of those are French."

While Hushovd doesn't think it is necessary, it also wouldn't hurt.

"If you have a potential top-five rider and a green jersey winner, you'll definitely get a spot in the Tour."

The Professional Continental Cervelo team is not reeling from the news though and according to Hushovd, the squad "has a plan." Cervelo has not been at the forefront of the rumor mill this transfer season, so it will be interesting to see the Cervelo master plan unfold.

"There will be news soon, but I don't know who it is they're talking to or when it will happen."

A replacement for the loss of Sastre would indeed be helpful to the team's invitation chances at next year's Tour de France, but Hushovd is firm on not playing second fiddle to anyone. While Hushovd's sprint was markedly off in the 2010 Tour de France, the Norwegian champion still almost took home a third Green Jersey. Barring another freak accident, the 32 year old can be expected to be a far more dangerous threat to Green in 2011, but to make that happen, Hushovd needs a team to support him.

"There may be an advantage [if Cervelo doesn't get an overall threat], but I would like to have an overall contender, if he is aware of the roles. I must have my men. There were never any problems with Carlos about that."

If the team doesn't pick up an overall threat, he still feels like his own record speaks for itself, though there's no guarantee like a former Tour de France winner. Considering the Spring both Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler can hope to enjoy next year, the two alone could ensure an invite if they're up to the high levels of 2009, which is not that hard to imagine, so long as the two can avoid the injuries that beset the first half of 2010.

"The fact that I've won the green jersey twice helps, of course, while I have a good name within the ASO, but there are no pat answers to these questions."

Cervelo's next move will be an interesting one, and it will likely have to be a quick move if they hope to pick up one of the numerous options on the market at the moment.



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