Hushovd foiled again

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He was in great shape through most of the Tour de France, and enjoyed grabbing the coveted green jersey on occasion, but the ultimate victory eluded Thor Hushovd once again as the cyclists pedaled into Paris on Sunday.

July 25, 2010 - Paris, FRANCE - epa02260777 HTC Columbia team rider Mark Cavendish of Britain (2nd L) sprints ahead of Lampre team rider Alessandro Petacchi of Italy (L) and Cervelo team rider Thor Hushovd of Norway (R) to win the 20th and final stage of the 97th Tour de France cycling race, between Longjumeau and Paris, 25 July 2010.

Now both Hushovd and fellow Norwegian cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen will just have to try again next year.

“It all went incredibly fast during the last rounds,” Boasson Hagen told newspaper Aftenposten after winding up his debut in the Tour de france. “It was hard to keep up.”

Hushovd admitted he was impressed over how arch-rival Mark Cavendish of Great Britain roared past him in the end (at left in PicApp photo), to win the final sprint and claim the green jersey. “He was like a bullet,” Hushovd told Norwegian reporters while watching a replay of the final leg. “He’s exceptional, as a sprinter.”

Alberto Contador of Spain won the Tour de France for the third time and now racing organizers in Norway are hoping the world’s top racers will gather for a “Tour of Norway” in June of next year.

Norwegian stars like Hushovd, Boasson Hagen and Kurt Asle Arvesen are pushing for the event to be held around southern Norway, possibly with Hushovd’s hometown of Grimstad as the starting and end point. Another likely stop will be Lillehammer, Boasson Hagen’s hometown and well-known from the Winter Olympics in 1994.

Next month some of the top racers will gather in Oslo for the Oslo Grand Prix, among them Andy Schleck who finished second in the Tour de France.

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