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Cycling star had lots of offers

UPDATED: Norwegian cycling star Thor Hushovd didn’t have a very good weekend, with disappointing results in a major Spanish race, but he could console himself with lots of offers from cycling teams keen to snare him.

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Norwegian media reported that Hushovd could “pick and choose” which team he wants to join, after his current team Cervélo announced it was releasing all its members and disbanding in its present form for financial reasons. “Certain changes” in the rules that govern pro cycling, Cervélo said, require bigger budgets to ensure participation in all the big races, “and this is not something with which we are comfortable.”

Hushovd, originally from Grimstad on Norway’s southern coast, had only been cycling for Cervélo since 2009, after eight years with Crédit Agricole. He was among those who had another season left on his contract with Cervélo and was distressed over its termination.

“Of course this isn’t very good news to get,” he told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) over the weekend.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported, though, that Hushovd immediately started being approached by other teams, including Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack. “That’s right, he (Armstrong) was actually one of the first who called,” Hushovd told Aftenposten.

A new team started in Luxembourg by brothers Fränk and Andy Schleck was also making inquiries as were others, but Hushovd ended up signing on with a new team being formed by Garmin and Cervélo.

“Yes, I’ve signed with the Garmin team,” Hushovd told reporters on Monday. “It’s a good team.” He added that he’ll be able to take several of his back-up riders with him and told TV2 that joining Garmin was “the best solution.”

Garmin chief Jonathan Vaughters reportedly had said it would be wrong if he wasn’t interested in a rider like Hushovd, who has repeatedly performed well in the Tour de France, winning the coveted green jersey (PicApp photo above).

Hushovd hasn’t performed very well so far in the Vuelta a Espana, a 3,425-kilometer race around Spain that began over the weekend. It started around midnight Saturday in Sevilla, an unusual hour that Hushovd found positive only because it wouldn’t be so hot. He ended up in 32nd place on Sunday, and 25 minutes behind the winner of the Marbella to Malaga stage on Monday.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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