Boasson Hagen suggests Milan Sanremo disappointment may have been due to food poisoning in Tenerife
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Boasson Hagen suggests Milan Sanremo disappointment may have been due to food poisoning in Tenerife

by VeloNation Press at 7:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo
 
Team Sky rider had been struggling to eat in build-up to Classic

Edvald Boasson HagenEdvald Boasson Hagen was one of the riders who, on paper, should have been in contention for Milan-Sanremo success. A good climber on punchy ascents, a fast sprinter from a medium sized group and a rider who had shown well before in difficult weather conditions, he was expected to be amongst those fighting for the win on the Poggio.

However, instead of that, the Team Sky rider lost contact with the peloton on the Cipressa. He rode on towards Sanremo but instead of going over the Poggio, took the shorter road into the city, his race over.

The Norwegian explained afterwards that recent illness and the freezing weather both combined to make his day a very difficult one.

“I didn't have that good a buildup,” he told Procycling.no in the team hotel after the race. “I struggled with food poisoning in Tenerife [where the Sky team prepared for the race – ed.]. Then it was fifty-fifty whether it would go well. I felt perfectly fine [beforehand], but it probably takes more energy out of you than I thought. I struggled to eat food for two days, which is at the expense of the strength. The weather did not help either.”

Boasson Hagen raced as well as he could but said that he knew that it was not going to be his day once the race turned onto the Cipressa and his legs felt empty. He lost contact soon afterwards.

As was the case for the other riders in the race, the day was much tougher than usual, even though the race was shortened from its usual 298 kilometres. Snow and freezing conditions on the Turchino Pass meant that the climb and descent were cut from the route, and so too the later ascent of Le Manie.

The riders travelled by team bus to the restart point, and began racing again. They had a chance to dry off in between, but Boasson Hagen states that it didn’t do much to make the day more bearable.

“I don’t know whether the first or the second part was the worst. Both were very cold. The first part was more comical, the second part was only hell.”

He said that he doesn’t believe the race organisers handled things as well as they could have, suggesting that the race should have been modified a lot earlier and thus sparing the riders from the freezing conditions they endured before the restart.

Boasson Hagen said that he was most affected in his hands and his legs.

He will now concentrate on the next races, hoping that the work he and the team did in Tenerife will pay off in the weeks ahead. The team opted to eschew the traditional Classics buildup of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico and instead train hard on the island; it remains to be seen how successful that will prove, but it could be argued that the shock of going from warm conditions to the near-zero temperatures of yesterday handed Team Sky a disadvantage compared to their rivals.

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