Recently crowned world champion Thor Hushovd says he hopes to win Paris-Roubaix next year wearing the rainbow jersey.
Hushovd, 33 in January, says the spring classics will be even more important next season as he makes the move to Garmin-Cervélo to lead the team’s bolstered classics squad.
“My goal is the classics next year, to try to win Roubaix in the rainbow jersey,” Hushovd told VeloNews. “That would be a dream for me. It’s an honor for any rider to wear the rainbow jersey for one year, and to win Roubaix would be even better.”
The big Norwegian has been nipping at the edges of Roubaix victory the past few years. He was third in 2009 and runner-up to the unstoppable Fabian Cancellara this year.
Hushovd said he’s doubly motivated for 2011, first to be wearing the rainbow jersey and secondly to joining Garmin as part of a transfer that included seven riders from Cervélo TestTeam, which folded at the end of this season.
In addition to aiming for the northern classics, Hushovd wants to shine in the Tour de France as well as ride the Vuelta a España to prepare for a defense of the rainbow jersey on another course well-suited for him, a sprinter-friendly circuit in Copenhagen.
“I will be proud to wear the rainbow jersey and I will do everything I can to honor the jersey,” he continued. “The big goals next year are the classics and then the Tour of Spain to get ready for the world championships. Also, to try to win a stage at the Tour de France, and why not, a few days in yellow. Stage one is ideal for me (at the Tour).”
Many are wondering if Hushovd’s ambitions will overlap with those of Garmin’s top sprinter Tyler Farrar.
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters downplayed possible conflicts and said that Hushovd and Farrar are at different stages of their respective careers and that having both on the squad will only create a stronger unit.
Hushovd said he spoke with Farrar during this year’s Vuelta to clear the air on any possible differences the pair might have in the upcoming season.
“Me and Farrar had a talk during the Tour of Spain, so I think it will be OK. I will take my chances when it’s a hard finish and he can try on the easier finish,” Hushovd said. “When I look back at a normal, flat sprint, I have not beaten Cavendish once, so why try to fight to be second or third? It’s better to help Farrar to try to beat Cavendish.”