Norway, France. Hushovd fans drunk, happy.

Hushovd fan club at Huveluy pave.

Nobody was happier about Thor, the Hammer, the Norse God, the slayer of Grendel or Fabian Cancellara — can’t remember which — than the fans for Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd. The big fellow from Cervelo.

He’s now wearing the coveted ¬†green sprinters jersey that Cavendish was eyeing in the window of Christian Prudhomme’s clothing boutique and walking around swigging a recovery drink out of this huge horned bone. With, yes, a Cervelo logo on it — they’re giving them away as promo items.

Anyway, I digress but it must be the free champagne outside the salle de presse in Reims. It’s the Champagne region and they’re pouring and who am I, having spent a significant chunk of my savings to be here, to say non?

I was standing across from these guys at the Haveluy cobblestone sector and when Hushovd went by they did some sort of Viking roar or maybe just a drunken roar. It was in Norwegian and I couldn’t really specify.

About ten minutes later, they let out an even bigger roar and began dancing around in place and toasting each other and slaughtering a pig they’d brought along for the occasion. Sorry, no pig, just imagination.

I turned to Edward Pickering, an editor for Cyclesport Magazine and asked what they were cheering about. He consulted his euro-cell phone: “Hushovd just won the stage.”

Then an hour later on my 10k enforced hike back to the press room, when the entire world had left the race scene, I came upon a camper and six Norwegian fans still waving the flag. I had to admire the commitment.

Now wonder they were able to kill Grendel.

Note: For all the cool pics I got from the last few stages, check out the TS Flickr gallery right, about, here.

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