Thor Hushovd of the BMC Racing Team overtook Paul Martens (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) in an uphill dash to the finish Sunday to win the final stage of the Arctic Race of Norway and capture the overall title of the first-year race in his home country.
Inspired By The Crowd
The reigning Norwegian road champion earned a two-second time bonus in the final intermediate sprint of the 155-kilometer race to set the stage for his seventh and eighth wins of the season. That put him one second behind overnight race leader Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) and set up the thrilling finish. “I had to dig deep,” Hushovd said. “I was confident this morning because I knew this sprint was good for me, but I didn’t know it was that hard and that steep.” Hushovd, who took another time bonus for the win to take the overall by nine seconds ahead of van Hummel, said he was inspired by the large number of fans, many of whom were calling his name. “I said to myself in the end – with all the public here – I really wanted to give this victory to them,” Hushovd said. “A big congratulations to the public for supporting this race.” Helping Hushovd secure the BMC Racing Team’s 22nd and 23rd victories of the year were teammates Adam Blythe, Silvan Dillier, Martin Kohler, Sebastian Lander and Dominik Nerz. The five were pressed into duty several times on the final stages to bring back breakaways. “We knew this race was important to Thor, so winning the stage and the overall was great,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said. “I thank everyone on the team for working so hard, all the riders and all the staff. This result is for everybody.”
Listen to complete comments from Hushovd (in English, French and Norwegian) and Ledanois on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line: