Hushovd, winner of 10 Tour de France stages, quits

The Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) -- Thor Hushovd of Norway says he will retire from professional cycling after the world championships in September because he's struggling to be in form.

The 2010 world champion, known as a strong sprinter, says on Friday he needs ''a bit of a holiday.''

The worlds are in Ponferrada, Spain.

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The 36-year-old BMC rider began professional racing in 2000. He rode the Tour de France from 2001-11, winning 10 stages.

One of Norway's best cyclists, Hushovd has been plagued by the aftereffects of a virus illness in 2012, which kept him from racing for about a year.

This month, he dropped out of the Criterium du Dauphine after the third stage, saying he wasn't feeling good.

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