Arvesen denies any possibility of Cavendish, Boasson Hagen conflict in Tour de France
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Arvesen denies any possibility of Cavendish, Boasson Hagen conflict in Tour de France

by Xylon van Eyck at 5:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Says both riders can win different stages for the team

Kurt Asle ArvesenSince the official announcement of Mark Cavendish’s signing to Team Sky, questions have been raised about Edvald Boasson Hagen’s role in the team next year. The Norwegian – who is more an all rounder than a pure sprinter - has been the team’s designated man for the bunch gallops the last two years. This year he won two stages of the Tour de France, one from a bunch sprint and the other through a solo breakaway.

Kurt Asle Arvesen, who retired as a rider last week and will stay with Team Sky to become a directeur sportif next year, telling procycling.no. that the new signing would be a big plus for the team. “It’s great that Cavendish is joining, he can bring us many victories.”

Elaborating on the role Boasson Hagen is likely to play next season, he said he would still have many opportunities. “Edvald might have to sit in the wind now and then [protecting team leaders] but beyond that this is not dramatic. Edvald is a completely different type of rider [to Cavendish]. We will keep developing him. If you look at the stages Edvald won at the Tour, they are completely different stages to the ones Cavendish can win.”

“I do not think that is a relevant issue at all,” he continued when asked if Boasson Hagen might be going to the Tour de France as a domestique next year. “Edvald is one of the world's best riders, so he will never be in that situation.”

Team Sky will have the task at next year’s Tour de France of balancing the objectives of winning both the yellow jersey with Bradley Wiggins and green points jersey with Cavendish. This feat was achieved in 1997 when Team Telekom won the overall race with Jan Ullrich while Erik Zabel won the green jersey.

“I think it should go well,” Arvesen said of the dilemma the team might face next season. “If we look back at history, there have been many teams who have had a lot of good riders at the start of the Tour de France. They achieved the green jersey, many stage victories and a good overall performance.”

It is likely that Wiggins will be the protected man for the yellow jersey while the team will target bunch sprints with Cavendish. Boasson Hagen has proven how valuable he can be, especially when it comes to going in breakaways during more lumpy stages.

Being team-mates won’t be a foreign territory for Cavendish and Boasson Hagen as they spent 2008 and 2009 on the same team and their different characteristics might compliment one another.

This year Garmin-Cervélo took both sprinters Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd to the French race with the aim of targeting specific stages. Farrar walked away with his first Tour de France stage win, while Hushovd added two more to his tally.

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