Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) has aired his frustration at the Tour de France commissaire’s decision to neutralise Monday’s points allocations after crashes affected the stage, thwarting his chances of taking the green jersey.

Tour commissaires decided to award points only to stage winner Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), but no further points awarded any other riders after several crashes hampered the progress of many of the overall contenders – and sprinters.

“I feel frustrated by what happened today. Our team was working hard and we would have had a good chance for victory,” said Hushovd after the stage.

“I feel like they have taken something away from us today. There were a few sprinters who did not make it to the front group, but there was no reason to not contest the sprint today.

“Everyone made a gentleman’s agreement not to sprint, but I lost an important opportunity to try to win the stage and gain points.”  

After solo escapee Chavanel crossed the line, netting himself 25 points, the main bunch rolled into the finish town of Spa in a line. Race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) led the rolling protest, asking other riders not to sprint for the line.

Cancellara subsequently lost the race lead to Chavanel, who also took over the lead in the points classification from stage one winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre).

Hushovd, who won the points classification last year, was one of the few sprinters to make the front group. Green jersey rivals Petacchi, Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia), Gerald Ciolek (Milram) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) were not in the main bunch with Hushovd. They had either been dropped on one of the climbs or caught in a crash.

Earlier in the stage, Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) had put in a bid for the green jersey by accruing 18 points by winning the three intermediate sprints – all of which were allowed to stand.

British sprint hope Cavendish has yet to score a point in the competition.

You win some, you lose some
Although Thor Hushovd felt cheated out of points on Monday, he may recall a commissaire’s decision that was firmly in his favour in last year’s Tour.

On stage 14 to Besançon, Hushovd was leading the points classification by just five points over Mark Cavendish. A breakaway group had already crossed the line and the sprinters were scrapping for 13th place. The Manxman swerved to avoid an uneven section of the barriers and deviated into the path of Hushovd.

Cavendish crossed the line first, but was subsequently relegated to 154th place after the race commissaires decided his manoeuvre was dangerous. Hushovd got 13 points, and Cavendish none, giving the Norwegian an 18-point advantage in the competition.

A war of words between the two ensued, which culminated with Hushovd going on a remarkable solo effort on mountainous stage 17 where he picked up the two intermediate sprints. When the TV camera pulled up alongside him, he looked at the lens and tugged the green jersey in defiance. 

Although Cavendish went on to win a further two stages, his bid for the green jersey effectively ended with the commissaire’s decision on stage 14. Hushovd went on to win the points competition by just 10 points over Cavendish, despite the Briton’s tally of six stage wins.

Points classification after stage two
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 44 points

2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 35
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 34
4. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Columbia 30
5. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo 26
6. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha 24
7. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Francaise des Jeux 22
8. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 20
9. Jose Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 19
10. Sebastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 19

Points classification before stage two
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 35 points

2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Columbia 30
3. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo 26
4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha 24
5. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Francaise des Jeux 22
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 20
7. Jose Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 19
8. Christian Knees (Ger) Milram 18
9. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky 17
10. Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 17

Tour de France 2010: Latest news
The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)
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Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out
Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream
Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires
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Armstrong defiant in wake of latest revelations
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Florencio kicked out of Cervelo team on eve of Tour
Tour teams presented in Rotterdam: What the riders said
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Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


  • NinePins

    Hushovd moaning again – he kept quiet after wheelsucking Flecha in Paris – Roubaix though

  • Big Al

    Well I’m on Hushovds side here. Do you really think that Cancellara would have acted how he did if the Schlecks were OK and it was just Wiggo, LA and VDV down? I’m convinced he would have hit the front, Schlecks in slipstream, and motored to the finish……… pun intended

  • old hedgey

    Noggin the Nog Hushovd strikes me as a bit of a bighead. I don’t doubt his abilities on the bike, but its no use mouthing off when things don’t go your way. Perhaps he’ll end up on the deck today, preferably before the 3km to go marker. Incidentally speaking as someone who has been over the Stockeu in very similar conditions to yesterday, well done to Chavenal and everyone else who made it in one piece. Tremendous riding!

  • Katie

    Thor is right, especially as the reports are now suggesting it was fuel spilled from a crashed motorbike which was part of the tour that caused the slippery road surface. The riders are paid to race in all conditions weather and road.
    It seems that everything is being done to enable the climbers to arrive at the mountains all nicely grouped together.
    The organisation provided flat stages and since the starting stages were announced we have had nothing but bleatings from certain sections about cobbles and road furniture and given previous tours none of the favourites want to race on these sprinters stages but wait till the mountains. Maybe the solution is for the next tour to split it into 3 sections, one for the time triallists, one for the rouleurs and one for the climbers and then the teams nominate 3 riders for each facet and only these riders are allowed to start the relevant section that way we could cater for the Prima Donnas without them having to go to dangerous areas beyond their perceived capabilities.

  • joe

    Totally agree with Hushovd, absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t sprint.