Norwegian sprint specialist Thor Hushovd won the sixth stage of the Tour of Spain on Thursday, while Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert retained the overall leader’s red jersey.
The Cervelo rider beat Italy’s Daniele Bennati and Slovenia’s Grega Bole to the line in a mass sprint at the end of the 151km ride from Caravaca de la Cruz to Murcia in southeastern Spain. Fourth was Australia’s Allan Davis.
The stage included a 2nd category climb toward the end followed by a steep downhill stretch to the finish.
Hushovd said he knew the final descent was “dangerous and technical, so I didn’t take any risks, I just stayed easy in the bunch and saved for the sprint.”
“I was motivated for this stage,” said the 32-year-old, who has twice won the green jersey as best sprinter in the Tour de France. “I knew this climb and that maybe the best sprinters would get dropped, so I hung on and then in the end the Cervelo Test team did a great job for me so I’m really, really pleased for myself and for the whole team.”
His Cervelo teammate, Spain’s Carlos Sastre, also hailed the team effort that led to the first stage win for the Swiss outfit in this year’s event.
He said “very few sprinters” were able to stay keep up during the final climb.
“That meant our team ... was able to control the head of the race so Hushovd could fight for victory in the sprint,” said the 2008 Tour de France winner, who finished with the main group.
The stage was marked by an early breakaway by three riders — Germany’s Markus Eichler, France’s Freddy Bichot and Spain’s Juan Javier Estrada Ruiz.
They built up a lead of more than nine minutes but they were caught on the final hill climb with about 18km to go.
Gilbert, who rides for the Omega Pharma team, finished with the same time as Hushovd and retains his lead in the overall classification, which he first claimed from Britain’s Mark Cavendish after winning Monday’s third stage.
He is 10 seconds ahead of two Spaniards, Igor Anton and Joaquin Rodriguez.
Yesterday’s seventh stage was to take the riders 187.1km from Murcia to Orihuela, and included just one third category climb.
The 21-stage Tour of Spain, which began last Saturday with a team time trial through the streets of Seville, wraps up in Madrid on Sept. 19.
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by