Thor first in yellow for Norway

Thor Hushovd became the first Norwegian in yellow today, but has his sights set on the points title

Thor Hushovd became the first Norwegian in yellow today, but has his sights set on the points title
Thor Hushovd became the first Norwegian wearer of the Tour de France's yellow jersey tonight, and with it added a 21 nation to the famous garment's illustrious list of prior owners. Hushovd joins riders from Colombia, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Estonia as the sole representatives of their country to have worn cycling's foremost badge of honour. "I hope that this yellow jersey will receive good exposure in Norway and boost the cycling culture there," said the 26-year-old from Arendal, resplendent in his new cloak, tonight. "The sport already has a good, popular base at home and my appearances at the Tour de France have no doubt contributed to that. This year there are Norwegian TV crews and around 10 journalists at the Tour. After this, that number could grow in the future." Hushovd dispossessed Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara of the race lead after gleaning 12 bonus seconds on stage two of the Tour to Namur in Belgium. The prize represents the pinnacle of what has been an exponential growth curve in the event since the Scandanavian's Tour dbut in 2001. Many will remember Hushovd as the rider who spectacularly writhed in agony at the roadside as cramps curtailed a brave breakaway bid on stage two of the 2002 race. He would soldier on to finish the 2002 Tour in seventh place on the green jersey standings, but more importantly, further hinted at his potential with a stage win at Bourg-en-Bresse. Twelve months later, he had moved up to fourth in the fight for green. Having exceeded even his own ambitions tonight, the Crdit Agricole rider is now pursuing a jersey of a different hue. He can already savour a three-point lead of Robbie McEwen in the points competition, and dreams to keep his nose in front until Paris. "The green jersey is a real objective," Hushovd admitted tonight. "It will be very tough to keep because there are so many men competing to take it off me: we saw today how fast Robbie McEwen was and he is just one of the contenders. There is Petacchi, who has already proved that he can finish major Tours at the Giro and Vuelta (the Italian has also completed one Tour de France, finishing 91st in 2001 - Ed.). Then there are Boonen and O'Grady. I'll do everything I can to achieve this objective. "This yellow jersey will no doubt change my life," Hushovd continued. "It's the biggest jersey in the sport and something I've been dreaming about since I was a teenager. Those dreams turned to real ambitions after the prologue on Saturday (in which he finished fifth, 10 seconds behind Cancellara - Ed.). This is the result of hard work and me reaching maturity as a rider. Some of the credit also goes to the friends and family who have supported me, and above all the team, which has shown great faith in my abilities."
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top