LA CLAYETTE, France (VN) — It’s easy to forget a star rider like Edvald Boasson Hagen when the Norwegian all-rounder teams up at Sky with Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. On Wednesday, though, he brought his name back to the top with a stage win in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Boasson Hagen, thanks to his win, gave us all a gentle reminder that he won two stages in the Tour de France last year. Remember, he was the one who saved Sky’s race after Wiggins crashed and had to abandon with a fractured collarbone in stage 7 to Châteauroux. Also, even if the strong British pairing makes it hard to remember, Cavendish only started racing for Sky this year.
So, with 24 days left until the Tour de France, Boasson Hagen stuck a Post-it note next to our TV monitors that said, “Look out for me in July.”
He won’t say that, though. In fact, he’s very shy and hardly says much. What he will say is that he won’t be in such a winning position this year with Wiggins and Cavendish wrestling for their own piece of the Tour. He’ll be helping.
“The team takes a lot of pressure and I get my chances when I can. I am in the Dauphiné to help Brad this week, but today I won and was able to have my chance. I had to work a lot yesterday, but I rested and today, I was able to go for the win. I’m happy to be in a team like that,” he explained in a press conference.
“I will go to the Tour to help Brad where I can. I will also lead out Mark on the flat stages. That’s the main job, but if I get the chance I will try to get the victory myself. But that’s just a bonus, my main goal is to help the team perform the best as possible.”
The 25-year-old Norwegian won in Lisieux and in Pinerolo last year. This year, he’ll fit in the middle of a Tour team packed with mountain domestiques and lead-out men. Wiggins will have helpers like Chris Froome and Richie Porte; and Cavendish will have a supporting cast to hunt stage wins on the flats.
Like today, if Boasson Hagen had his chance, he’d be doing it on his own.
“There was no one ordered to help him,” sports director, Sean Yates told VeloNews. “He was given the card to play, but he was to do it on his on his own. We came here to win with Bradley and everyone, including Edvald, is dedicated to achieving that. Edvald did a hell of a lot of work in the final yesterday. He’s obviously coming back on form after a little bit of injury this spring.”
Boasson Hagen worked to help Wiggins on Wednesday until the final four kilometers. He quietly slotted into the Omega Pharma-Quick Step train when his work was finished, following sprinter Gerald Ciolek, and bided his time.
“I was just waiting for the last 150 meters to open up,” Boasson Hagen added. “It was a great victory for me.”