Thor Hushovd points to “old ways” at Crédit Agricole for lack of previous Classics prowess
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thor Hushovd points to “old ways” at Crédit Agricole for lack of previous Classics prowess

by Ben Atkins at 3:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
No regrets, but World champion wishes he knew then what he knows now

thor hushovdThor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) has come out in criticism of his former team, Crédit Agricole, for its lack of forward thinking as the reason why he had never excelled in the Classics before, according to Since joining the Cervélo TestTeam in 2009, then moving onto Garmin-Cervélo this year, the World champion has featured strongly in the finale of Paris-Roubaix – finishing on the podium in 2009 and 2010 – which is something he never got close to at the French team.

“We hung too far behind on the equipment side,” he told Norwegian news agency NTB. “There was not the knowledge at Crédit Agricole on the equipment and what was needed to keep up with the top riders in the races. As long as I did not know better myself, I am proud of the people who were around me in the team.”

Over the years, more and more has gone into the development of equipment for the cobbled Classics, including specialist frames and even carbon wheels. Much attention is also given to matters such as the optimum tyre width and pressure for such races.

According to Hushovd though, Crédit Agricole didn’t move with the times and stuck with the “old ways”.

“At the time, I would like to have known what I know now about the Classics,” he said. “I got the experience too late. But I would hardly have won a great classic as a 25-year-old anyway; I would not have been strong enough. I took time to build the strength up for that.”

Although he is best known as a sprinter, who is now aiming at the cobbled Classics, Hushovd entered the sport as very much an all rounder. In his first full year he won both sprints and time trials, and in his career he has won the prologue of the Tour de France, as well as his two green jerseys.

“I was asked what I felt was my thing back then,” he said. “Had I, for example, staked everything on prologues, I could have won many more of them too. But I do not regret anything.”

Hushovd spent nine full seasons with Crédit Agricole, having joined as a trainee towards the end of 1999. Although he never featured much in Paris-Roubaix during his time with the team, he won six of his eight Tour stages, and one of his two green jerseys; he also won Gent-Wevelgem, finished third in Milano-Sanremo and won countless other races and points jerseys.


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