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Norwegian national road champion Thor Hushovd enjoyed the BMC Racing Team's third podium finish at the race. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Norwegian national road champion Thor Hushovd enjoyed the BMC Racing Team's third podium finish at the race. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Amgen Tour, Stage 7: Hushovd Runner-Up

18. maggio 2014

BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd finished runner-up to Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) Saturday at the Amgen Tour of California after teammate Greg Van Avermaet spent the majority of the penultimate stage in a breakaway that was only caught in the last five kilometers.

Matched Best Result
Hushovd, the Norwegian national road champion, received a lead-out in the final kilometer from teammate Taylor Phinney, who won Thursday's stage with a 25-kilometer solo effort. Hushovd was first out of the final corner, but Sagan overtook him in the last 50 meters. Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) was third and Phinney finished 10th. "I came into this race with some ambitions and goals," Hushovd said. "But with the heat, I was suffering a lot. It is difficult when it is that hot on the bike. But I knew I had done the work, so it would eventually turn out. Obviously it is a nice result to get second." Hushovd's runner-up placing in the 142.8-kilometer race matched his season best and marked the BMC Racing Team's third podium finish of the race, adding to Phinney's win and his third place in Monday's Stage 2 individual time trial.

Nearly A Birthday Treat
At one point, it looked like Van Avermaet would score a result as he celebrated his 29th birthday. He first rode as part of a group of seven that was whittled to four after the ascents of Angeles Forest and Angeles Crest. On the downhill plunge to Pasadena, it was down to two: Van Avermaet and past U.S. national road champion Ben King (Garmin-Sharp). "It was my birthday today, so I wanted to do something," Van Avermaet said. But the teams of sprinters with ambition kept the escape in check. "When they only give you two minutes, it is hard to do something," Van Avermaet said. "It was kind of the last chance for them to win the stage, so it is pretty normal that they want to work and bring you back." In the overall standings, BMC Racing Team's Peter Stetina remained sixth, 2:30 off the overall lead of Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said Sunday's 122.4-km circuit race in Thousand Oaks could see a shakeup in the standings. "There is still a lot to play and give and take and lose. A lot can happen," he said.

Listen to complete comments from Hushovd, Sciandri and Van Avermaet on the BMC Racing Team's Audio Line.

See photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.