It was a miraculous ride by the god of thunder today, winning brilliantly after staying away in the break that hatched with around 100km to go. Right around the time the break got set, Lars Boom climbed in the team car and abandoned.
A tough day, but not one for the GC boys – that could only mean one thing: a day for the break.
The bunch basically sat up as Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Thor Hushovd (Garmin), Dmitriy Fofonov (Astana), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Jйrфme Pineau (Quick Step), Jйrйmy Roy (FDJ), David Moncoutiй (Cofidis), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) and Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad) all rode away, working well together.
By the base of the Col d’Aubisque, the break had built up roughly 6 minutes on the flat run in. This monster clocks in at an average of 7.1% for a grueling 16.4km. Ouch.
The views were stunning, the racing hard – just another day in the mountain office.
Thor wanted nothing to do with the climbers around him, and banking on his descending skills he attacked at the foot, gapping the group. Roy and Moncoutie slowly solved the riddle of the Norwegian and closed to him, then Roy went over the top both in a bid for the polka dot points but also the stage win. By the summit, Roy had eked out a 2 minute advantage over Thor.
21km to go and the Frenchman Roy was riding himself into the ground, having secured enough points for the climber’s jersey. Thor Hishovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and David Moncoutie (Cofidis) sat 51 seconds back chasing, with the 2nd chase 3:45 back, the 3rd chase a little behind that, and the peloton was just chugging along a whole 9 minutes back.
FDJ Director Marc Madiot leaned out of the car as Roy drove on, encouraging his rider to stay away from the chasing duo for fear of the sprint, but Roy’s efforts weren’t holding the gap as it tumbled down to 20 seconds at 10km to go.
Thor Hushovd rode a perfect ascent of the Col d’Aubisque to first get a head start, then hold on to keep Jeremy Roy within reach.
Thor managed to gap Moncoutie a couple of times in the heat of the chase, but he’d make his way back slowly but surely. The Frenchman from Cofidis also wouldn’t help the Norwegian, probably knowing it wouldn’t do him any good if it came down to a sprint against the mighty Thor, not to mention the flogging he’d take in the French press! It didn’t seem to bother the Garmin rider, who just kept driving the chase on.
Jeremy Roy kept his head down and continued his escape, motoring along even after being in yesterday’s break too!
The 3rd chase of 5 riders dangled in space, unable to move the needle in either direction, resigned to their fate.
Gilbert and Mollema were just under the 10km banner to go, but their race was for Gilbert to keep his place to get some precious green jersey points. Just behind them was the peloton led by the Movistar boys to keep Gilbert in check for their man Rojas.
Thor attacked Moncoutie at the 3km banner, sensing the Frenchman just waiting for some scraps. One super hard dig and Hushovd closed the gap to Roy, he sat on his wheel for a second, then went right over the top of him gapping him instantly. The Mighty Thor was riding superbly today, Roy, completely knackered for his effort, watched helplessly as first Thor went, then Moncoutie went around him, hoping to maybe pick off the Norwegian. That wasn’t going to work.
Thor came home, arms outstretched, with a big war cry. A very fine win for the combative world champion, notching another feather in the Garmin-Cervelo team cap.
Stage 13 Results
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 3:47:36
2 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:10
3 Jйrйmy Roy (Fra) FDJ 0:00:26
4 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad 0:05:00
5 Jйrфme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:05:02
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:05:03
7 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:05:08
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:05:16
9 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:06:48
11 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:06:51
12 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 0:07:37
General Classification After 13 Stages
1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 55:49:57
2 Frдnk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:01:49
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:06
4 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:17
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:16
6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:03:22
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:04:00
8 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:11
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:35
10 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:57