Boasson Hagen rejigs race programme to hit higher peak in Classics
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Boasson Hagen rejigs race programme to hit higher peak in Classics

by VeloNation Press at 7:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Emphasis on racing this time round after 2013 spring training camps didn’t pay off

Edvald Boasson HagenAfter a disappointing Classics season in 2013, Edvald Boasson Hagen and his Sky team are changing things up for next season, hoping to find the right combination of racing and training which will enable the Norwegian to reach his full potential in targeted events.

Last year he and the rest of Sky’s Classic team eschewed racing in favour of high altitude training, hoping to replicate the success that the team’s stage race riders had had after training in Tenerife.

The experiment didn’t pay off; the riders were far quieter than expected in the one day events, and Boasson Hagen’s hopes of shining in the spring Classics didn’t pay off.

He had shown solid form early on, starting things off with sixth in the Tour Down Under Classic in Australia, then finishing eighth and third on stages of the Santos Tour Down Under and eight overall [plus top ten on two stages] in the Tour of Qatar.

However ninth in Gent Wevelgem, seventeenth in both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Ronde van Vlaanderen and twentieth in Gent-Wevelgem were quite a way off where he had expected to be. Ditto for 47th in Paris-Roubaix, which will be his big goal in the first part of 2014.

“I think it's okay to try something new,” Boasson Hagen told, explaining how he is hoping that a modified approach will help him hit top form. “[The first race] will most likely not be in Australia, but one of the other races in the beginning of February.

“I think it's a long journey to Australia, and there are really not so much racing. I've been riding for two years now, and now I want to do something else.”

Team coach Kurt Asle Arvesen explains that the plan is to do a little less training in December, then spend less time having to deal with jet lag from long flights.

His new racing programme is still being finalised, but suggests that Boasson Hagen will likely begin his season with the Challenge Mallorca races between February 9th and 12th. It will be his first time since 2009 to start there as his first races.

He might do the Tour of Oman afterwards, but the big aim is to be in shape for the early semi-Classics in Flanders, namely the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne -Brussels - Kuurne. Tirreno Adriatico is then thought likely, after which he could do Milan-Sanremo, Gent Wevelgem, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“Last year I tried to ride less races,” he said, referring to the team’s altitude training camps. “This year I'll try to race some more. The Classic riders will basically do the same races together.”

Arvesen said that the final details will be worked out next week.

Boassen Hagen is regarded as one of the top young talents in the sport, but has lost a little momentum in the past two seasons. He’s still just 26 years of age, though, and so if he can return to top shape it’s very possible that some big Classic wins are in store.


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