Norway, France. Hushovd fans drunk, happy.
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.