Tour de Pologne: Thor Hushovd wins stage three as Ben Swift claims top-10 finish
Former world champion Thor Hushovd sprinted to victory on stage three of the Tour de Pologne.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 31/07/13 5:13pm
Hushovd benefited from a superb late tow from BMC team-mate Taylor Phinney and then beat Mark Renshaw (Belkin) into second place and Steele von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) into third.
Team Sky sprinter Swift entered the final 1km well down the field, but fought back to claim a top-10 finish.
Polish rider Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) crossed the line safely in the peloton to retain the overall lead of the race, with Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) consolidating second and third places respectively.
Victory continued a recent return to form for Hushovd, who won the Norwegian national road race title in June and then a stage of the Tour of Austria earlier this month.
Phinney digs deep
His BMC team were almost ever-present at the head of the peloton during three laps of a 6km circuit that brought to an end a challenging, 226km day in the saddle.
The day's breakaway - Alexandr Dyachenko (Astana), Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCCPolsat Polkovice), Ricardo Mestre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM) - held out until 1.5km to go, but eventually succumbed to a powerful and lengthy turn on the front from Phinney.
Renshaw and Hushovd both sat on the American's wheel until around 500m remaining, and it was the Australian who was the first to launch his sprint.
Hushovd had the power to fight back and overtake him at the death, though, with Von Hoff mounting a late surge to claim third place in a tight finish in Rzeszow.
Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) crossed the line 21 seconds behind the peloton and remains 49th in the general classification, now 23min 43sec down on Majka.
Stage three result
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC, 5:10:02
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin, same time
3 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp, st
4 Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM, st
5 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st
6 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE, st
7 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
8 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
9 Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky, st
10 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano, st
106 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +21secs
1 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff, 16:14:45
2 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, +4secs
3 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +6
4 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEDGE, +7
5 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, same time
6 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, +9
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +13
8 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar, st
9 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard, +16
10 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Leopard, +18
49 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +23:43
59 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +31:26