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One BIG green jersey for Thor Hushovd.
Battle with Cavendish to resume on Tuesday
Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) defended his lead in the Tour de France's points classification on Sunday, in stage nine from Saint-Gaudens to Tarbes.
The Norwegian sprinter benefited from an early escape of four riders getting away from the peloton and absorbing the points on offer at the stage's three sprint points.
"The most important thing today was to protect Thor's green jersey. There was an escape early, with four riders up front, so that took the pressure off us before the intermediate sprint," said Cervélo TestTeam sport director Alex Sans Vega.
Hushovd sprinted to a stage victory in stage six to Barcelona before claiming the green jersey from Mark Cavendish shoulders after winning two intermediate sprints on stage eight.
Hushovd heads into Monday's rest day with an eleven point lead over Cavendish in the points competition.
After three days in the Pyrenees, the Tour's sprinters will have another opportunity to hunt for stage wins on stage ten to Issoudun.