Hushovd thwarts Frenchmen to claim Tour 13th stage

LOURDES, France, (Reuters) – World champion Thor  Hushovd claimed the 13th stage of the Tour de France after  defeating two Frenchmen in a nail-biting finale yesterday.

The Norwegian rider from the Garmin-Cervelo team powered  away with 2.5 kilometres left to beat France’s David Moncoutie  by 10 seconds, according to provisional results.

Another Frenchman, Jeremy Roy, was on the attack all day but  had to settle for third some 26 seconds off the pace, snatching  the polka dot jersey for the best climber in the process.

Thor Hushovd

Thomas Voeckler of France retained the overall leader’s  yellow jersey as the big guns enjoyed a quiet day in the  152.5-km stage from Pau.

Roy, who had already spent almost 200 km in a breakaway in  Thursday’s gruelling mountain trek, attacked in the descent from  the Col de Cuqueron around 105 km from the finish.

He was joined by eight riders, including former race leader  Hushovd, but he was on his own before the top of the  out-of-category Col de l’Aubisque.

Cheered on by his team manager Marc Madiot, a two-times  Paris-Roubaix champion, Roy launched a solo time trial with his  face a mask of pain and his mouth wide open as he gasped for  air.

Hushovd and Moncoutie joined forces in the descent before  the Frenchman refused to take turns with eight km left.

Hushovd then attacked three km from the line and caught Roy  500 metres further on with the FDJ rider was unable to catch the  Norwegian’s wheel, cracking in the finale.

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