Thor Hushovd Sprints To Stage One Win At Tour of Beijing


BEIJING, Oct 11, 2013 (AFP) – Thor Hushovd won the first stage of the Tour
of Beijing Friday, after the Norwegian timed his sprint for the finishing line
to perfection.

The 2010 world champion edged ahead of a crowded pack during a sprint
finish to the 190.5 kilometers race, crossing the line at just over four hours
and 20 minutes.

Marginally behind the 35-year-old were Slovenian Luka Mezgec, Belgium’s
Nikolas Maes and Italian Alessandro Petacchi.

Petacchi, who rides for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, was the first to
dart for the finishing line, but was caught by Hushovd in his bid for glory.

It is the first appearance at the Beijing event, the last of the UCI
WorldTour season, by Hushovd, a former Tour de France green jersey winner.

The veteran racer earlier this year signed a three-year contract with Swiss
team BMC Racing, and repaid them by claiming two stage victories in August’s
Tour of Poland.

The first stage of the Tour of Beijing was from the Chinese capital’s
northeastern district of Shunyi to Huairou, further outside the urban area.

Hushovd will wear the leader’s red jersey for Saturday’s stage two, the
longest section of the race at 201.5 kilometers, stretching from northwest to
northeast Beijing.

London Olympics silver medalist and defending Tour of Beijing champion Tony
Martin of Germany is hoping to make it three wins in a row this year.

The event was established in 2011 and Martin won it both then and last year.
Also racing is Portugal’s Rui Costa, who won at the World Championships in
Tuscany last month.

Results from the first stage of the Tour of
Beijing on Friday:
1. Thor Hushovd (NOR/BMC Racing) 4:20:34″
2. Luka Mezgec (SLO/Argos-Shimao) same time
3. Nikolas Maes (BEL/Omega Pharma-Quick Step) same time
4. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/Omega Pharma-Quick Step) same time
5. Michael Matthews (AUS/Orica GreenEDGE) same time