By Jean-François Quénet
After a beautiful 2006 season that has seen him winning Ghent-Wevelgem, the prologue and last stage of the Tour de France among others, Thor Hushovd has set his mind on new perspective. He's now training in South of France. A meeting with his Crédit Agricole team in Paris is also scheduled for this week to determine his calendar for 2007 but it's already certain that the Norwegian will resume racing with the Tour of California from February 18 to 25.
"Last year I started with the Tour Down Under and I enjoyed Australia a lot, he said. But I just wanted a change. As a professional cyclist, I want to see all the places where cycling gets popular. Maybe in 2008, I'll start with Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia. I'd like to experience all of these new venues for bike races."
America means something special for Thor since he got engaged to his long time girlfriend Suzanne when they flew to Las Vegas for visiting the Interbike in late September last year. The couple also traveled to Hollywood, so it will not be Hushovd's first trip to California. Afterwards, he'll follow his usual program until Paris-Roubaix, which will be again the peak of his classics campaign. It includes Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem. "I'd like to win every major classic at least once in my career", the 28 years old stated. "Paris-Roubaix is my favorite one."
After celebrating Christmas in Norway, he'll head back to South of France near Hyères for a training camp before flying to California.