Norwegians have enjoyed a strong day of racing around the world, with a string of solid results in both men's and women's racing. The nation's efforts were spearheaded by Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) who claimed victory in the Volta a Catalunya's Prologue.
Hushovd took the ProTour event's lead by six seconds over American George Hincapie (High Road) on the 3.7 kilometre course in Lloret de Mar. "I am very satisfied with this victory," Hushovd said. "Tomorrow it will be very complicated to hold onto the leader's jersey because the stage is very difficult, with several mountain passes. This does not favour me very much.
"My tactics were very simple - go all out from start to finish," he added. "On a course this short there weren't any other options."
Hushovd's compatriots dominated the Olympia's Tour in the Netherlands. Joker-Bianchi team-mates Joachim Bøhler and Alexander Kristoff claimed the top two positions on the 176 kilometre second stage. Bøhler hols fifth place, just 13 seconds adrift, on the event's general classification with seven stages remaining.
Anita Valen (GSB Domaine du Chene) flew the flag for Norway's female racers, taking second on the Vuelta Ciclista a El Salvador's third stage. Valen was a part of a four person lead group that stayed away to the finish, with Janildes Fernandes (Chiro Forno Dïasolo) winning the stage.
Valen's efforts in the breakaway puts her in a strong second position on general classification. Valen trails Prologue, Stage 1 and Stage 2 winner Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) by 26 seconds with three stages remaining after the Dutchwoman finished a disappointing 48th on the day's stage.
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