LOURDES, France — Reigning world titlist Thor Hushovd of Norway, the former race leader, claimed a solo win in Stage 13 today while teammate Tyler Farrar of Wenatchee finished as expected near the back of the field for a second straight day at the Tour de France.
Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), who assumed the race lead with his squad’s team time trial win in Stage 2 and kept it for a week, completed the 94.7-mile ride — the race’s second stage the Pyrenees — from Pau to the Catholic pilgrimage city in 3 hours, 47 minutes and 36 seconds.
Farrar, like other non-climbers in the race, has a simple but not easy goal of just completing three consecutive stages in the Pyrenees within the limit while awaiting the next sprinters’ opportunity in Stage 15. He finished among 46 riders in 147th position, 22 minutes and 8 seconds behind Hushovd.
Farrar is in 155th position among the 171 remaining cyclists, trailing race leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) of France by 1:48:18.
Garmin-Cervelo leads the team competition by five seconds over Leopard-Trek, while Farrar remains seventh in the green jersey, or sprinters’ competition.
Voeckler finished 17th in the main field, 7:37 behind the leaders, and retained his 1:49 margin over Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek) of Luxembourg. Cadel Evans (BMC) of Australia is third, 2:06 behind.
The 13th stage had three categorized climbs. But it was the effort to the Col d’Aubisque, a 10.1-mile section with 7.1 percent grade and the race’s third beyond category climb, that tested the field weary from its first mountain journey in Stage 12.
The Col d’Aubisque ended about 68 miles into the stage, followed by a fast downhill stretch for the final 26 miles.
The remaining field faces a 104.7-mile trek from Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille on Saturday in Stage 14, the final Pyrenees stage. It has the potential to seriously deplete the field.
The stage has six categorized climbs, double category 1 and 2 efforts, a Category 3 and a vicious final 10 miles uphill (7.9 percent gradient) to the finish.