16 Jul 2011

Norwegian wins 13th stage of Tour

5:16 pm on 16 July 2011

Norway's World champion cyclist Thor Hushovd shattered hopes of a first French victory in this year's Tour de France when he outwitted and overpowered two local riders to take the 13th stage from Pau.

There was some consolation for home fans though with Thomas Voeckler clinging on to the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Hushovd has made it an almost yearly duty to raise his arms in the world's biggest cycling race, having first won a stage on the Tour in 2002.

On his way to his annual celebration, the two-times green jersey winner did little to please the French crowds by beating David Moncoutie and Jeremy Roy, who had led the way for most of the day but was reeled in 2.5 kilometres from the line.

Hushovd, Roy and Moncoutie had parted with a group of 10 escapees on the major task of the day, the classic Aubisque mountain pass, and were left to battle it out in the long descent to the finish line.

Even though the French have yet to win a stage, they now hold three of the distinctive jerseys, Roy being King of the Mountains and his team mate Arnold Jeannesson wearing the best young rider's white garment.

The yellow jersey stayed with Frenchman Voeckler after his Europcar team managed the main bunch to bring him safely to the finish line.

Luxembourg's Frank Schleck remains second, a minute and 49 seconds behind Voeckler with Australian Cadel Evans third and Andy Schleck fourth.

Spain's defending champion Alberto Contador is in seventh four minutes behind the leader.