will race for the first time in the World Champion’s rainbow jersey this week in Italy. He will debut as cycling’s champion at the Tour of Piedmont on Thursday, only a week and a half after winning the championships in Geelong, Australia.
“I am truly honoured to show off my rainbow jersey at the Tour of Piedmont and the Tour of Lombardy,” said Hushovd.
“It’s a great privilege to be personally invited by the organiser RCS Sport to these Italian classics. I am ready and concentrated on having a good result with the rainbow jersey on.”
Hushovd won the rainbow jersey on October 3 in Geelong. Attacks and a difficult course forced sprinters like Britain’s Mark Cavendish to abandon, but Thor Hushovd remained to contest a small group sprint. He won ahead of Denmark’s Matti Breschel and Australia’s Allan Davis.
Davis went on to win the Commonwealth Games road race on Sunday in Delhi ahead of Scotland’s David Millar.
The World Championships in Geelong was meant to be Hushovd’s last race, after a long season. He place second at Paris-Roubaix in April and then battled back from a collarbone fracture to win a stage at the Tour de France and one at the Vuelta a España. His next appointment was to be in Basel, Switzerland, to have the six screws and metal plate removed from his collarbone.
“Though,” he said after he won, “I don’t know if I will do it right away.”
He will delay until after the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday.
Lombardy, or the ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’, in Como will mark the end of Hushovd’s season and the end of Cervélo TestTeam. Bike manufacturer Cervélo announced in August that it will end its sponsorship of the team at the end of the year and that it will partially merge with Garmin-Transitions, to become Garmin-Cervélo.
Hushovd has never raced Piedmont or Lombardy, though Piedmont’s 194-kilometre course suits him. The races will mostly be a chance for him to parade his new jersey and end two years with Cervélo TestTeam.
For the first time, Norwegians will be able to see the race live. Yesterday, Norway’s TV2 made a deal with organiser RCS Sport to broadcast the race. Besides the rainbow jersey, fans will be able to spot Hushovd with the same race number he wore at the World Championships, 77.