National jerseys changed hands Sunday as many European countries held their championship road and time trial events.
Saxo Bank doubled up in Denmark, with Nicki Sorensen claiming the road title and his teammate Jakob Fuglsang taking top honors in the time trial.
With defending champion Tom Boonen out with tendinitis, his Quick Step teammate Stijn Devolder captured the Belgian road title ahead of Philippe Gilbert and Frederik Veuchelen. Devolder also won the title in 2007.
In Germany, Milram’s Christian Knees took the road race while HTC-Columbia’s 25-year-old Tony Martin won the time trial.
In Norway, Cervelo’s Thor Hushovd won the national road race in his first win of the season. “I actually forgot how nice it is to win,” said Hushovd after the race. “I’ve had to wait some years before winning this race again, and now I look forward to wearing the national jersey in the Tour de France.”
Caisse d’Epargne rider Ivan Gutierrez won the Spanish road race title after finishing second in the time trial two days earlier. Francisco Ventoso and Koldo Fernandez de Larrea came in second and third, respectively, in the 226km race. Stars Alberto Contador, Oscar Freire, Carlos Sastre and Samuel Sanchez stayed away to prepare for the Tour de France, which gets underway next weekend.
In Switzerland, Martin Elmiger won the Swiss road title. The defending champion, Fabian Cancellara, dropped out 30km from the finish.
And in France, Bbox rider Thomas Voeckler won the national title for the second time. The 31-year-old previously won the title in 2004, the same year he wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for ten days.
Danish road race championship
- 1. Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank) 198km in 4 h 32:53
- 2. Lars Bak (HTC-Columbia) at 13
- 3. Anders Lund (Saxo Bank) at 41
- 4. Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil) at 1:49
- 5. Chris Anker Soerensen (Saxo Bank) at 1:49
Danish time trial championship
- 1. Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) 40km in 49:49
- 2. Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank) at 4
- 3. Michael Moerkoev (Saxo Bank) at 26
German road race championship
- 1. Christian Knees (Milram) 193km in 4 h 37:36
- 2. Steffen Radochla (Nutrixxion) at 50
- 3. Andreas Schillinger (NetApp) at51
- 4. Tony Martin (Columbia) at 1:36
- 5. Dominic Klemme (Saxo Bank) at 1:36
German time trial championship
- 1. Tony Martin (Columbia) 34.5km in 35:15
- 2. Patrick Gretsch (Columbia) at 38
- 3. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) at 43
Swiss road race championship
- 1. Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale) 197km in 4 h 34:29
- 2. Simon Zahner at 21
- 3. Pirmin Lang at 21
- 4. Hubert Schwab at 1:44
- 5. Nicolas Schnyder at 1:53
Norway road race championship
- 1. Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) in 5.09
- 2. Christer Rake (Joker Bianchi) at 0.04
- 3. Roy Hegreberg (Sparebanken Vest – Ridley) at 0.39