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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Sunday, 6 July 2008 16:22 UK

Hushovd sprints to Tour success

TOUR DE FRANCE (5-27 July)
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Thor Hushvod
Hushvod has now won six Tour de France stages

Norway's Thor Hushovd won the second stage of the Tour de France in an exciting sprint finish.

The Credit Agricole rider burst clear in the final 300m to finish ahead of Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen, with Germany's Gerald Ciolek in third.

Britons David Millar and Mark Cavendish were 26th and 27th respectively.

Spain's Alejandro Valverde retained the yellow jersey, while Kirchen moved to second overall ahead of Spain's Oscar Freire in third.

Millar moves from 11th to seventh in the overall standings, while Cavendish, who has a genuine chance of success in Monday's race from Saint-Malo to Nantes, is 100th.

Sunday's 164.5km ride took the 179 riders from Auray on the south coast of Brittany to Saint-Brieuc in the north and, akin to the opening day, featured three category four climbs and one category three.


In wet and windy conditions, French riders Thomas Voeckler, Sylvain Chavenel, Christophe Moreau and David Lelay led for much of the race only to be caught with 3km to go.

Voeckler, the 'King of the Mountains', and Chavenel opened up a lead after 30km but with less than 60km remaining the pair were caught by team Agritubel riders Lelay and Moreau and the four Frenchmen proceeded to move three minutes ahead of the peloton.

As the finishing line loomed, Team Columbia and Quickstep pushed the peloton forward and with 15km left the gap was down to just over one minute.

I hope to win another stage or two, but now I don't have the pressure and I can relax more

Thor Hushovd
It seemed only a matter of time before the breakaway pack would be caught and indeed the peloton made their charge.

Swiss Fabian Cancellara went alone 1km from the end but it was a little too soon and it was Hushovd who ultimately triumphed in three hours and 45.13 seconds.

Hushovd, who has now won six stages on the Tour, set his sights on a couple of more stage wins.

"It's already a good start," he said. "I don't know if I can win more but it's a good start.

"I hope to win another stage or two, but now I don't have the pressure and I can relax more."

Stage two results:

1. Thor Hushovd (Norway/Credit Agricole) 3:45:13

2. Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg/Columbia) same time

3. Gerald Ciolek (Germany/Columbia) same time

4. Robert Hunter (South Africa/Barloworld) same time

5. Erik Zabel (Germany/Milram) same time

6. Yury Trofimov (Russia/Bouygues Telecom) same time

7. Oscar Freire (Spain/Rabobank) same time

8. Jimmy Casper (France/Agritubel) same time

9. Martin Elmiger (Switzerland/AG2R) same time

10. Leonardo Duque (Colombia/Cofidis) same time

Selected others:

26. David Millar (GBR/Garmin CHipotle) same time

27. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Columbia) same time

Overall standings (after stage two of 21):

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne ) 8:21:20

2. Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg/Columbia ) + 1 sec

3. Oscar Freire (Spain/Rabobank ) + 1 sec

4. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain/Saunier Duval) + 1 sec

5. Cadel Evans (Australia/Silence-Lotto) + 1 sec

6. Jerome Pineau (France/Bouygues Telecom) + 1 sec

7. David Millar (Britain/Garmin-Chipotle) + 1 sec

8. Riccardo Ricco (Italy/Saunier Duval) + 1 sec

9. Frank Schleck (Luxembourg/Team CSC) + 1 sec

10. Filippo Pozzato (Italy/Liquigas) + 1 sec

King of the Mountains (after stage two of 21):

1. Thomas Voeckler (France/Bouygues Telecom ) - 19 points

2. Sylvain Chavanel (France/Cofidis ) - 11

3. Bjoern Schroeder (Germany/Milram ) - 9

4. David De La Fuente (Spain/Saunier Duval ) - 4

5. Christophe Moreau (France/Agritubel ) - 3

see also
Tour de France stage two photos
06 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Valverde triumphs in Tour opener
05 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Tour de France photos
05 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Cycling on the BBC
30 Jun 08 |  Cycling
Tour de France 2008 preview
02 Jul 08 |  Cycling

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