Norway’s Thor Hushovd seized the Tour de France leader’s yellow jersey after his Garmin-Cervelo team won the 23-km second stage, a team time-trial in Les Essarts on Sunday.
The American outfit covered the course in 24 minutes and 48 seconds at an average speed of 55.6 kph, beating compatriots BMC by four seconds.Britain’s Team Sky were third, clocking the same time as BMC. First stage winner Philippe Gilbert of Belgium lost the yellow jersey after his Omega Pharma Lotto team finished 40 seconds behind the winners.
Hushovd seized the lead because he was his team’s best-placed rider after finishing third in Saturday’s first stage in Mont des Alouettes. His British team mate David Millar is now second overall in the same time.
Australia’s Cadel Evans, who beat Hushovd by three seconds for second place on Saturday, is close up in third place overall, just one second behind the two Garmin-Cervelo riders.
Monday’s third stage is a 198-km trek between Olonne sur Mer and Redon.
HTC primed for win
HTC-Highroad are hoping to erase their misfortune on the Tour de France opener by paving the way for Mark Cavendish to win his 16th stage on the race Monday.
Australian sprinter Matt Goss had been the team’s main contender for the uphill finish on Saturday’s first stage where Belgian Philippe Gilbert romped to victory and into the yellow jersey. However the Tasmanian was one of several riders whose victory dreams were snuffed out by a crash in the closing three kilometres of the ride to Mont des Alouettes.