ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) – He’s accomplished so much already it’s hard to believe Edvald Boassen Hagen is still only 24.
Five times national TT champion; two stage wins apiece at the Grand Tours of Italy and France; four stage race victories, including Paris-Corrèze, the Tour of Britain and the Eneco Tour; and triumphant in Gent-Wevelgem – at age 21, the same age Eddy Merckx won the semi-Classic – and the Vattenfall Cyclassics.
Unlike some of his peers, cycling has not yet aged him; his face is still that of a schoolboy. Perhaps that’s because when others suffer like dogs he simply cruises along Highway Boassen Hagen.
“If he was from Belgium he’d be treated like a god,” Sean Yates, Team Sky’s DS at the Tour Down Under, said.
Added the team’s principal, Dave Brailsford: “No one quite knows yet where his true limits lie.”
Nonetheless, for the next few years, Boassen Hagen tells VeloNews the focus will be on spring – in particular, the cobblestone Classics of Flanders and Roubaix.
Boassen Hagen’s athletic pedigree is nothing exceptional; he doesn’t come from a cycling family and was a cross-country skier until he first threw a leg over a bicycle, aged 15.
Since then he hasn’t looked back, and with a voracious appetite for winning – cannibalistic, you might even say – likely never will.