Alexa

Hushovd sprints with half a team, loses green

 Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, signs autographs prior to the start of the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling...
 Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, Mark Cavendish of Britain, Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway, Alessandro Petacchi of I...

France Cycling Tour De France

Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, signs autographs prior to the start of the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling...

France Cycling Tour De France

Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, Mark Cavendish of Britain, Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway, Alessandro Petacchi of I...

Thor Hushovd finished Saturday's stage into Revel sprinting on his own, and watching the Tour de France green jersey slipping off his shoulders.
The Norwegian rider for the Cervelo Test Team finished eighth and lost the coveted jersey for best sprinter to Alessandro Petacchi. He won't have a chance to win it back until at least Friday now that the race is in the high mountains.
His team manager Jean-Paul van Poppel _ himself a winner of the green jersey in 1987 _ acknowledged the problems that his team faces because it contains not only a top-rate sprinter in Hushovd but also a contender for the overall title, 2008 winner Carlos Sastre. That means that only some of the riders can dedicate themselves to protecting and giving a final boost to their sprint star.
"The team has more goals than the sprint. The green is very important so we do the best we can for Thor but of course we have not a whole team, and that makes a difference. We also still have Carlos Sastre and he also needs his support in the next coming days," Van Poppel said.
"We see that Lampre has a team around Petacchi and we see that (Mark) Cavendish has a team around him, and that is the difference for us. We have a part of a team around Thor and we have part of the team around Carlos."
Van Poppel said he believed any of Hushovd, Petacchi and Cavendish could win the green jersey, and much would depend on how well they survived the forthcoming four mountain stages.
"Petacchi looks OK. Cavendish I don't know," he said.
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RADIOSHACK'S CONSOLATION: Lance Armstrong may be out of the running for the Tour, and even Levi Leipheimer needs to pick up four minutes if he's to challenge for the yellow jersey, but there's one consolation for Team RadioShack.
The outfit is leading the team classification, which is based on the top three riders from each team in each stage.
Four RadioShack riders finished in the main group on Saturday, as did four riders from the second-placed team Caisse d'Epargne, which remains 21 seconds back.
Though the mountain stages could produce a shock, the competition appears to be a straight fight between those two teams. The third-placed team, Rabobank, is 16 minutes, 13 seconds behind the leader.