Champion of the World Thor Hushovd impressed everyone today as he took a magnificent victory in to Lourdes after a 158km journey through the Pyrenees. The Norwegian more known for hi sprinting prowess went on the attack early with nine others including the instigator Jeremy Roy (FDJ)Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo), Dmitriy Fofonov (Astana), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad) and Vladimir Gusev (Katusha).
With the break splitting to pieces up the famed Co du Aubisque Hushovd rode his own tempo in order to come back later in the stage, he caught Moncoutié on the descent off the Soulor, and the pair set about chasing down the lone leader, Roy. At 15km to go, the two chasers had cut Roy's lead to just 31 seconds, with Hushovd doing the bulk of the pace-setting. They continued to close, but for a time Roy held them at 15-20 seconds as the fading Moncoutié was either unable or unwilling to contribute to the chase, knowing all too well that Hushovd was sure to beat him if the finish came down to a sprint.
With under 3km to go Hushovd dropped Moncoutié and powered up to the courageous Roy. The Norwegian didn't wait to take on the FDJ rider in the sprint, jumping past him straight away and ripping clear to win with a comfortable gap over Moncoutié.
"It's the craziest thing I've ever done," admitted Hushovd. "I was happy to be in the break. I was obviously strong. I went on the attack on the Aubisque so that I could ride at my own pace. My goal was to come back on the descent, which I finally managed to do. It's incredible how quickly things have turned for me. Yesterday and the few days before I was feeling tired, but I did the right thing yesterday by taking it easy and losing quite a lot of time. I think that saved my legs and that's why I won today."