Thor Hushovd will lead the parade of big-name riders at the 2011 Tour de France presentation in Paris on Tuesday but it is set to be his last public appearance of the season after a whirlwind two weeks since winning the rainbow jersey.
The big Norwegian was due to go on holiday immediately after the world championships but his victory in Geelong meant he was obliged to race in the rainbow jersey at Gran Piemonte and the Tour of Lombardy. He was proud to show of his rainbow stripes in the last races for the Cervelo TestTeam but admitted to Cyclingnews he is now ready for a holiday.
"I lasted for 130km at the Tour of Lombardy but realised that I was empty both physically and mentally," he told Cyclingnews.
"I tried to get in an early break but when that didn’t happen and I saw the warm team car at the feed zone, I knew it was time to call it a day. It's been a crazy two weeks since I won the world title. It's been nice but I'm ready for a holiday now."
Hushovd flew to Brussels for the Flandrian of the Year awards night on Saturday but caught an early morning flight back to Italy to ride the two-up Borgomanero time trial. He then attended the Gala Ciclistico Internazionale awards night in Conegliano near Venice, collecting a special prize for winning the world title.
He will be in Paris on Tuesday for the unveiling of the 2011 Tour de France route but will then undergo surgery on his collarbone he fractured in the spring, before finally taking a well-deserved holiday.
"The Tour de France presentation is my last event of the season. It'll be interesting to see the route of next year's Tour de France and see what we will face next July but it'll be my last public appearance of the season," he said.
"On Thursday I'm having an operation to have the plate removed from left collarbone that I broke in the spring and after that I'll switch off my phone and go on holiday with my family."
Hushovd and his agent Alex Carera held talks with Garmin-Transitions team manager Jonathan Vaughters on Friday night in Milan about their future together.
Hushovd has a one-year contract with the new Garmin-Cervelo team for 2011 but would like to extend that further. Cyclingnews understands the talks went well but no contract extension has yet been signed.
Hushovd revealed that he will meet up with his new Garmin-Cervelo teammates for the first time in late November in the Cayman Islands. The team will spend a week on the Caribbean island, getting to know each other and planning for the 2011 season.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.