Hushovd to lead Credit Agricole in 2006 Tour Down Under

2005 Tour de France sprint champion, Thor Hushovd, will lead the French registered Credit Agricole team at the 2006 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

It is the first time the Norwegian sprinter has raced in Australia's premier road event and ensures the sprints will be hotly contested in 2006. Hushovd, who pipped Australians Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen, for the prestigious green jersey in July, also claimed five wins during the season including victory in stage five of the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) in September.

Joining Hushovd in the Credit Agricole team will be three other members of the team's 2005 Tour de France combination in Hungarian Laszlo Bodrogi, Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu and Frenchman Patrice Halgand.

Bodrogi, the five time Hungarian time trial champion claimed overall honours in this year's Tour of Luxembourg while Tour de France stage winner Kirsipuu is returning for the eighth time.

Russian Alexandre Botcharov, second overall in the 2002 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under behind Michael Rogers, will also line up. Bathhurst cyclist and Athens Olympian, Mark Renshaw, will make his debut in the Credit Agricole green and white after his transfer from the Française des Jeux team. The final two members of the team are New Zealand's Julian Dean, who finished ninth in the road race at this year's World Championships in Spain, and Norwegian Mads Kaggestad.

The Credit Agricole line up for the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under will be:

Thor Hushovd (Nor) 18.01.1978
Lazslo Bodrogi (Rus) 11.12.1976
Alexandre Botcharov (Hun) 26.02.1975
Julian Dean (NZl) 28.07.1975
Patrice Halgand (Fra) 02.03.1974
Mads Kaggestad (Nor) 22.02.1977
Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) 17.07.1969
Mark Renshaw (Aus) 22.10.1982

Team Manager: Michel Laurent

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