Hushovd was never close to staying with Garmin

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) wins his second stage of the 2011 Tour de France.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) wins his second stage of the 2011 Tour de France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Thor Hushovd doesn't seem to regret leaving Garmin-Cervelo. Despite a highly-successful Tour de France, the former World Champion wasn't entirely satisfied with his time at the team, and will ride for rival American team BMC Racing Team as of 2012.

He only ended up there, he told, because of the merger of the Garmin and Cervelo teams. “I had my contract with Cervelo. They dragged me along in the package to Garmin.”

Hushovd was unable to meet his major goal of the year, winning one of the Spring Classics. “It was arranged for me to win a Classic.  The conditions and luck were such that it did not work out.”

He made up for the lack of success in the early part of the year at the Tour. He pulled on the leader's yellow jersey after his team won the second-stage team time trial, holding on to it for seven stages. The Norwegian then went on to win two individual stages.

There have been rumours all season that Hushovd was not happy at the team or with team manager Jonathan Vaughters, although both publicly denied any problems. 

Now, though, Hushovd says, “I was not very close to staying. They came to me very late to say they wanted me. So I moved my focus, and a change was something I wanted.

“There were several offers throughout the season. I reckoned up all the pluses and minuses. BMC ended up with many pluses, so I chose to go with them.”

There is no enmity between Hushovd and Vaughters, though. “We are on speaking terms,” the Norwegian said.

Hushovd acknowledged that one problem was actually his own fault. He did not receive a bonus for winning the 2010 World Championship. “I signed a contract with Cervelo without a World Championship bonus and it's my fault. It's something I've said all along.”

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