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“I gave everything I had to get the victory. I had to try to do it. When I got beaten on the line like this for my last race in Norway, it’s hard. The crowd was incredible today."

Photo: Sirotti




17.08.2014 @ 23:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Thor Hushovd missed out on one final big victory when his brave attack in the final kilometres of the final stage of the Arctic Race of Norway was neutralized by Alexander Kristoff. The retiring Norwegian was hugely disappointed as he desperately wanted the win for himself and his home crowd.


BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd attacked with 1.5 kilometers to go Sunday at the Arctic Race of Norway, but the past world road champion was overtaken in the final 100 meters by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Team), who won his second stage of the four-day race. 


Hushovd, the winner of two stages and the overall title last year in the race's inaugural edition, said he put everything into his attack on the downhill run-in to Tromsø on the circuit finish of the 165-kilometer stage.


"I really wanted to win for myself and everyone here," Hushovd said. "I could hear the cheers and applause of the crowd all around today. I was thinking I had to attack and I think I did a good move, but I could not stay away. To get beat on the line like that was hard.


“I gave everything I had to get the victory. I had to try to do it. When I got beaten on the line like this for my last race in Norway, it’s hard. The crowd was incredible today. I really wanted to win for myself obviously and also for everyone here, the race organizers and everyone here in northern Norway. I got a huge applaud coming in but I missed the last victory I wanted.”


Hushovd's runner-up finish was his fourth of the season, including a second place to Kristoff on Stage 2 on Friday. Sam Bennett (Team NetApp-Endura) finished third, two seconds back. Hushovd, a past Norwegian national road champion and two-time Tour de France points classification winner, was honored in a special ceremony after the race.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the other four members of the squad were 100 percent behind Hushovd, with Sebastian Lander and Loïc Vliegen launching attacks in the final 20 km to reduce the peloton and set the stage for Hushovd's solo move.


"We knew how important this was for Thor," Ledanois said. "A victory would have been perfect, but second is not bad. It changes nothing in the way people here celebrated him and his career today."


Vliegen, a stagaire signed to the BMC Racing Team earlier this month, and teammate Amaël Moinard both managed top 10 finishes overall. Steven Kruijswijk (Belkin Pro Cycling) took the overall title by four seconds over Kristoff while Vliegen and Moinard finished eighth and ninth respectively, 42 and 45 seconds back.


"I am happy with all of the guys' performances this week, especially for Loïc in his first professional stage race," Ledanois said.



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