4 Oct 2010

Hushovd wins world cycle title, NZ riders off pace

6:00 am on 4 October 2010

Thor Hushovd became Norway's first road cycling world champion, powering clear of a mass sprint to edge out Denmark's Matti Breschel in a dramatic finish at the World Championships in Geelong.

The muscular sprint specialist timed his run to perfection, hanging back in the peloton as a number of attackers flagged on the steep climbs of the 262.7 km course, before bursting to the front to win by a little more than a bike length.

Allan Davis took bronze as a consolation prize for Australia, after champion Cadel Evans' title defence was swamped in the tide of the peloton before the final straight.

Julian Dean was the only New Zealander to finish, coming in almost 14 minutes behind the leader in 77th place.

Greg Henderson retired after five laps, while Hayden Roulston lasted for two more.

Dean was fighting back the tears after the race, and says he couldn't be more disappointed.

The 35-year-old says he expected to be much better than he was after the work he had put in, but never felt on the top of his game.

Roulston now heads to the Commonwealth Games.