Boasson Hagen on Milan-Sanremo: ‘It’s a huge race, it would be great to win it’
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Boasson Hagen on Milan-Sanremo: ‘It’s a huge race, it would be great to win it’

by VeloNation Press at 6:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo
 
Sky rider pleased with form after block of training at altitude

Edvald Boasson HagenProminent last year but then fading over the top of the Poggio and finishing 25th, Edvald Boasson Hagen believes he is in better shape this time round and is dreaming of a victory salute at the end of Milan-Sanremo.

The powerful Norwegian rider is on paper someone with the ideal attributes to take the race; he’s powerful, good on certain climbs and is a very fast finisher at the end of tough races. In fact, his characteristics are similar to his countryman Thor Hushovd, who has long been seen as someone with the potential to take La Primavera.

“It’s the longest race of the year, it’s one of the Classics and it’s been around in cycling for such a long time,” Boasson Hagen said. “It’s a huge race and it would be great to win it.”

Thus far this year he has clocked up a number of top ten stage finishes in the Santos Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar; more recently, he’s been training with the rest of the Team Sky Classics squad at altitude in Tenerife. He feels that work has paid off.

“I haven’t really done many races so far this season but I’m happy with my form,” he said. “I’m feeling better and better on the bike. I haven’t had any big results to shout about yet this year but hopefully they will come in the next few weeks. I’ve been doing a lot of good training and the focus has been on the Classics.”

Boasson Hagen’s past successes include two stage wins in the 2011 Tour de France, overall victory in the Eneco Tour (2009 and 2011), the 2009 Tour of Britain and the Glava Tour of Norway. In terms of single day racing, he has won Gent-Wevelgem, the Vattenfall Cyclassics and the GP Ouest France, and last year was second behind Philippe Gilbert in the world road race championships.

The latter race shows that he can excel in Milan-Sanremo, with that result coming after the ascent of the Cauberg, a far tougher climb than the Poggio.

Boasson Hagen has done Milan-Sanremo four times in all, and has gained the necessary experience. He is clear on how he wants to tackle the Classic.

“I’ve done the race four times now and I’ve seen the climbs on a lot of videos. I’ve always done recons of the climbs so I’m familiar with them,” he said on the Team Sky website.

“You do 200km before the first climb, and 250 or so before the next one, so it’s the length before the climbs that makes them hard - and also the speed. They are not really steep but everything you’ve been through before you get to them makes it tough.”

“Last year I went quite well,” he continues. “I was in the group all the way to the last climb but I was just on the limit to make it over. It was one of the better Milan-San Remos I’ve done so hopefully I can be even stronger this year. I want to be in the first group over the last climb.”

If he’s there, his staying power and strong finishing speed identify him as a potential winner.

Long regarded as one of the most talented young riders in cycling, he’s now 25 years of age and knows that it is time to deliver on that promise. Victory in Milan-Sanremo or in another of the spring Classics would do just that.

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