By Nigel Wynn published
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)
Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage
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
Millar and Thomas hold their nerve in Rotterdam rain
Armstrong defiant in wake of latest revelations
Thomas looks to prologue and sporting new stripes|
Florencio kicked out of Cervelo team on eve of Tour
Tour teams presented in Rotterdam: What the riders said
Andy Schleck faces rough ride over Tour cobbles
Riis: Tour is the goal for Schlecks despite sponsor problems
Armstrong on Arenberg: There will be carnage
Cavendish set for green jersey battle at the Tour
Hunt and Lloyd look forward to making their Tour debuts
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
Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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