Hushovd eyes Paris-Roubaix and World title in 2010

Grand Tour objectives take back seat as Norwegian targets one-day wins

Thor Hushovd has indicated that he may skip next year's Tour de France in order to focus on the 2010 World Championships in Geelong, Australia. In an interview published in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet on Sunday the Cervélo TestTeam rider said that Paris-Roubaix and the World title would be his major goals next season.

"I'm not sure if I will ride in the Tour de France next year," said Hushovd. "I have other goals that are starting to become more important than a third green jersey in the Tour. To win the spring Classics and the World Championships is more tempting."

Hushovd's two green jerseys at the Tour de France (2005, 2009) are significant of the reputation he has built as one of the peloton's most consistent sprinters. However, victories at semi-classics Gent-Wevelgem in 2006 and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this year have marked a transition in recent seasons towards results in one-day races.

Hushovd finished third at Paris-Roubaix this season and said he will target victory in the 'Queen of the Classics', as well as a similar result in Geelong next year. The latter objective could see him trade the roads of France for those of Spain in order to maximise his chances of success.

"The World Championship and Paris-Roubaix will be my most important races next year," he said. "To qualify for the World Championship I might race in the Vuelta a España."

Yesterday, Hushovd was one of 96 riders who failed to finish this year's World Championship race yesterday in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He said Cadel Evans' solo victory served as testament to the challenge that the hilly course presented. "It was surprising that Cadel won," he told Dagbladet after the race. "It proves how hard this World Championship was."

Norway's best placed rider, Kurt-Asle Arvesen echoed Hushovd's comments: "This was the toughest World Championship race I have ever experienced, but I had a really good day and was hoping for medals along the way," said Arvesen, after finishing 12th, 1:47 behind Evans.

With the next two World Championships to feature comparatively flat courses in Australia and Denmark, respectively, Hushovd has set his sights on those to provide Norway's first ever Elite men's World title.

"The next few World Championship races will fit me better. It's gone well for me in all other races [in my career], so it's important for me to do it well in the World Championships. My goal is a World Championship medal before I retire."

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