Hushovd. One captain too many.

Hushovd

New nickname coming on strong: Thor “One Chief” Hushovd.

The Norwegian hardman is fast becoming a one note tune this year — from Paris-Roubaix to Copenhagen he keeps singing the same song. In the aftermath of the World Championship Road Race in Copenhagen, Hushovd was feeling like two is a crowd once again.

“We have two captains and our team is too small for that. We should have only one captain for next year,” Hushovd toldVG.no. “Things are clearer.  It is easier for everyone to relate to it.”

Now you can read that just a general comment on race strategy or read it for ego. Given Hushovd’s statements this year about feeling unloved and unsupported, we’re taking option two.

Now, we’re generally big fans of the Norwegian and there’s no question the man delivers every year. He’s great with spectators, takes a strong anti-doping stance and his fan club wears these crazy Viking horn hats. What’s not to like?

But somebody — probably his agent — needs to take Thor aside and tell him to ease up on the “me first” story. It didn’t go over well after Paris-Roubaix when Garmin-Cervelo domestique Johan Van Summeren won the race.

It also doesn’t sound particularity good after Copenhagen with Hushovd complaining about having to share leadership with Edvald Boasson Hagen on team Norway.

And it sure won’t go down too well at his new team BMC where he’ll try to work out his role and races with Philippe Gilbert and perhaps try to make the Tour de France roster when winner Cadel Evans is already concerned about losing support.

Yo, Viking, simmer down.

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  • mike

    I think his comments at the classics related to having a captain and a proper plan for the races, not him leader at all of them, rather than the woolly 'see who is best on the day'. As WC and with his experience/results I do not think it unreasonable for him to have been captain for the main ones including paris roubaix. It would have happened automatically on most eurpoean teams. And as the reigning world champion and against a younger EBH unproven at the distance, I do not see why it is unreasonable for him to have not been the sole captain for Norway. If I was him I would be pissed off as well. I read in Norwegian press that Aarvensen said Thor should be leader before the race along with a few other pundits. Cavendish has never had to race as a joint leader, never had to look after himself, including yesterday and now I very much doubt he will next year.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      No dispute that one captain generally works better. My comment is only based on his consistent message this year about lack of team support. I like Thor but think you have to read his comments with an understanding that he's annoyed with not being the man. Matt

      • mike

        Agreed but as I said as the reigning world championandand a proven rider over the distance I think he has everyright to be pissed off at not being the team leader for Norway. What else does he have to do to get that respect? Read Vgnet.no. As they say what other country who had the reigning world champion in their team would not have had him as their leader?

        And the same goes for the classics and Garmin. And even when he had the yellow jersey on top of the rainbow jersey in Tdf, team management decided not to ride to support and protect the yellow jersey in the Super Besse stage. He had to retain the yellow jersey by his own efforts and did so in great style.

        On the rare occasions he gets the support he always thanks his team. And if he is so self centred as you imply, When was the last time a world champion in the yellow jersey led out a younger, less experienced rider in a grand tour? And after a great Tour, how many WC have been rewarded by being dumped from Veulta? Put youself in his place this season Matt – would you have been annoyed at the lack of respect and support?

    • Higgins

      Why bring Cav into this ? He is a pure sprinter and never claims to be more or less, but he also never fails to credit his team for creating his victories – even in times like last year after was Renshaw out of the TDF, or this Worlds when Stannard and Thomas went flying off leaving Cav behind an Aussie…( no blame to them)

      Thor was cheated by an accident in this Worlds, not lack of support, and moaning about too many chiefs ends his Rainbow year on a sour note, which as the original post states doesnt bode well for next year when he joins a more multi talented team.