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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Thor Hushovd
HUSHOVD FACTFILE
Thor Hushovd
DOB: 18/1/1978
Nationality: Norwegian
Best Tour: 2004 -Stage eight win; second in green jersey competition
Hushovd was omnipresent in the sprints in last year's Tour de France but eventually had to make do with second place in the points competition.

He was rewarded with a stage victory, however, taking a fine sprint to win the eighth stage.

Last year he may have been one of the less watched riders among the elite sprinting fraternity.

But this time he will be closely followed every single time the speedsters start bunching up.

The 27-year-old, who admits skiing and football were his first sporting loves, took up the cycling competitively at the age of nine over some cajoling from his older brother Ronny.

By the age of 19 he considered quitting the sport until countryman Kurt-Asle Arvesen won the under-23 World Championship.

From there he has gone from strength to strength at team Credit Agricole.


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