x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Thor thunders away to glory

The Norwegian cyclist Thor Hushovd won the sixth stage of his Tour de France career in a thrilling bunch sprint yesterday.

Norwegian Thor Hushovd, left, sprints to the finish line ahead of Kim Kirchen in Saint-Brieuc, western France, to win the second stage.
Norwegian Thor Hushovd, left, sprints to the finish line ahead of Kim Kirchen in Saint-Brieuc, western France, to win the second stage.

SAINT BRIEUC // Norway's Thor Hushovd won the sixth stage of his Tour de France career in a thrilling bunch sprint yesterday. The French crowd had been hopeful of a home victory on day two courtesy of a four-man Gallic breakaway consisting of Saint Brieuc-born David Lelay, Thomas Voeckler, Christophe Moreau and Sylvain Chavanel. But that quartet were reeled in by the peloton as they entered Saint Brieuc, setting up a pulsating finale for the leading sprinters.

Fabian Cancellara made a break for the line with just a kilometre left closely followed by Filippo Pozzato, who triumphed when the Tour last visited Saint Brieuc in 2004. But neither man had the legs to make it to the line as Hushovd pulled round the outside with just 300 metres left to win the stage ahead of Luxembourg's Kim Kirc-hen in second spot. The leading protagonists all crossed the line in the same time, leaving Alejandro Valverde in the leader's yellow jersey heading into stage three.

Today, the peloton will travel the 208 kilometres from Saint Malo to Nantes, a very flat day in the saddle which ought to once again play into the hands of the sprinters. @Email:sports@thenational.ae