Cycling: Hushovd loses footing and his temper as McEwen sprints home

Thor Hushovd's roller-coaster run of luck continued full-tilt yesterday as he lost the bunch sprint to Robbie McEwen when his shoe slipped from his pedal during stage 2, into Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg. However, the Norwegian still moved back into yellow, none the less.

The day before, Hushovd, who won Saturday's prologue time-trial, had badly slashed his arm against a giant publicity "hand" close to the finish and then all but fainted as the blood pumped forth. A trip to the hospital and three stitches later, the next day Hushovd was back in the action for the longest stage of this year's Tour.

With temperatures soaring into the mid-30Cs during the 228 kilometre grind north from Strasbourg, Hushovd said: "I had been thinking of abandoning at one point with a sore stomach and the heat didn't help." The burly Norwegian's morale slowly improved as he began battling for intermediate sprints, snaffling two third places which propelled him - on paper - back into the leader's yellow jersey.

After a day-long breakaway David De La Fuente was reeled in on one of a vicious succession of short but steep climbs near the finale, the Credit Agricole rider then managed to dodge a dangerous pile-up in the last two kilometres.

What Hushovd could not avoid, however, was his front wheel making contact with stage winner McEwen in the last 100 metres. "I bounced off, my shoe came out and I finished with one foot all but scraping along the ground," Hushovd said.

Such un-nerving accidents at 70kph are very much part of the trade for sprinters and while Hushovd crossed the line bellowing with rage, he quickly calmed down and shook hands with McEwen.

The Australian was equally phlegmatic: "We touched wheels and it was a bit dodgy, but Thor's OK. He got the yellow jersey back - he's had a good day."

The same can not be said for one of the two Britons taking part in the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, who was forced to wait for a team-mate who suffered badly on a late climb and lost nearly seven minutes in the process. David Millar, on the other hand, made it through for his second top 20 place in two days.

"I even stuck my head up in the middle of the sprint to see what was going on ahead and who was winning," admitted Millar, who is back in the Tour after a two-year ban for doping ended in late June.

As the race took a brief incursion into Luxembourg, there was room for nostalgia about climbing genius Charly Gaul, the 1958 Tour winner from the Duchy who died recently, but there was also a grim sense that the doping affairs that plagued the race build-up may yet come back.

In Bordeaux, meanwhile, 23 people were sentenced to up to four years in prison for being involved in a drugs ring that supplied a cocktail of amphetamines known as "Belgian pot" to cyclists.

The Belgian physiotherapist Freddy Sergant, who supplied the drug, was sentenced to four years, while the French former professional Laurent Roux, who admitted during the trial to taking banned substances throughout his career, was sentenced to 30 months, 20 of them suspended.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears