Thor Hushovd wins Tour stage 4 - Road Cycling UK

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Thor Hushovd wins Tour stage 4

fabian wins stage 3

Thor Hushovd punches the air with delight

fabian wins stage 3

Another day in yellow for Fabian Cancellara

fabian wins stage 3

Hushovd is clearly delighted to get his first win of the season

Mighty Thor Hushovd slam-dunked his first win of the season in the mass sprint into Joigny yesterday. Following a perfect lead-out from team mate Julian Dean, Thor thumped his fists into the air crossing the line ahead of a closing Robert Hunter (Barloworld).

The 193km stage was ridden at a faster pace than yesterday, the peloton making it clear they weren’t going to let a breakaway build up a significant lead as in stage 3. This didn’t stop Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sébastien Chavanel (Française Des Jeux) and Christian Knees (Milram) going clear at 25km. Their lead was whittled down inside the last kilometres, with their breakaway becoming futile at 5km.

The final kilometre was chaotic, with no clear leadout until New Zealander Julian Dean began his lead-out for Credit-Agricole’s Thor Hushovd. Going at about 500m Dean set a devastatingly rapid pace, with Hushovd tucked up in his slipstream. With 250m, Dean moved aside and Hushovd demonstrated the searing pace that has brought him four stage wins previously.

Thor was evidently happy with his win, saying: “”It’s really great, I had a lot of problems at the start of the year, and I felt it started the Tour de France badly with a crash and yesterday I messed it up. But today everything went well and [Julian] Dean did an amazing job and I’m really happy. The whole team did a great job. With the power that Dean had, that’s what I need to win.”

Only receiving a wildcard entry to the Tour at the last minute, Barloworld’s Robert Hunter left his counter-attack a fraction too late, crossing the line only a smidgen behind the Norwegian. He was clearly far from happy with second, shaking his head and fist angrily as he crossed the line. Talking after the stage, Hunter said: “I’m feeling good. I came to the Tour to get a result; I want to win a stage. I’ve been feeling good. Obviously a bit disappointed, but the last 500 metre I put in a big effort, but by the time Thor [Hushovd] went he had a big gap, I had run out of metres in the end. ”

Results

  • 1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
  • 2 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
  • 3 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
  • 4 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
  • 5 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
  • 6 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
  • 7 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
  • 8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
  • 9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis
  • 10 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile

    General Classification

  • 1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 19.49.55
  • 2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 0.29
  • 3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.33
  • 4 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval – Prodir 0.41
  • 5 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.43
  • 6 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis – Le Crédit par Téléphone
  • 7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis – Le Crédit par Téléphone 0.44
  • 8 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.45
  • 9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep – Innergetic 0.46
  • 10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d’Epargne
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