Norwegian road racing ace Thor Hushovd ended his frustrating victory drought, winning the pole position at stage one of Tour du Haut Var in France. This was the 35 year old rider’s first win after he won the stage four of Tour of Britain in the year 2011.
Though a lot was said, written and expected after Hushovd moved to BMC in 2012, the 2010 world champion was brought down by virus and muscle inflammation which kept him out of action for much of the season; Hushvod raced for a total of 28 days during the 2012 season. The best he could do in 2012 was winning the fifth position in stage 7 at Paris-Nice.
However, during his win in the BMC colours, Hushovd showed that he was back with a bang, hitting a line ahead in La Croix Valmer and taking home the winner’s jersey.
Hushovd defeated Tom Jelte Slagter of Blanco Pro Cycling, the winner of Santos Tour Down Under, Arthur Vichot of FDJ and Samuel Dumoulin of Ag2r La Mondiale, among others, to win the 152 km race.
After the win, Hushovd said, “This is a big win for me, especially after the last year which was so frustrating and depressing. It was hard on me mentally as well. I am not sure what went wrong last year and saying no to the Olympics, Tour de France and the Worlds and not being able to do anything for the team was definitely not a good feeling at all”. Hushvod added that he was grateful to the team for supporting him the whole while and helping him to come out at top during the Tour du Haut Var. He also thanked the other riders of BMC for their effort.
Though this was Hushovd’s first win for the American team, he said that he hoped to clock up a few more this season with Paris-Roubaix as his prime target.