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Thor Hushovd shadows Mark Cavendish in Paris
Cervélo TestTeam captain and Cavendish share Tour spoils
Thor Hushovd claimed his second Tour de France points classification title after finishing sixth on the final stage in Paris on Sunday. Hushovd was able to withstand the challenge from Columbia-HTC's Mark Cavendish, who won six stages in this year's Tour.
Speaking after the stage the Cervélo TestTeam sprinter said that he and Cavendish had built a mutual respect throughout the Tour's three weeks.
"When you get to the finish of a bunch sprint, you always have a lot of adrenaline. There are a lot of things that happen in that final rush to the line and it’s easy to say a lot of things to your rivals immediately after," Hushovd told letour.fr.
"Mark [Cavendish] and I have already forgotten about all the incidents. We’ve shaken hands, talked about it and put it all behind us. We both had a good Tour this year, he won a lot of stages and I’ve got the green jersey."
Hushovd won a stage in the race himself, taking a victory in Barcelona on stage 6. However, like many of his fellow sprinters, he finished some metres behind a dominant Mark Cavendish on the Champs Élysées on Sunday.
Despite his victory on the final stage, Cavendish was unable to dislodge Hushovd from the top of the points green jersey competition. The Norwegian finished the Tour ten points clear of his younger rival.
The battle for green between Hushovd and Cavendish had been one of the major talking points of the race. The rivalry between the two peaked on stage 14, when Cavendish was relegated by the race jury for irregular sprinting after a protest by Hushovd.
Then, with a daring solo attack on the Alpine stage 17, Hushovd absorbed the intermediate sprint points on offer and effectively sealed his hold on the competition.
"We talk a lot when we’re riding but we had a big battle during the Tour de France – especially after he was relegated, that was a hard time – but we’ve talked about it and have forgotten it. The last few days we had a good ride and good race for this important jersey."
Hushovd finished the competition with 280 points in front of Cavendish (270 points) and Milram's Gerald Cioleck (148 poins). Hushovd won his first Tour de France points classification in 2005.