Boasson Hagen consolidates lead in Eneco Tour
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Boasson Hagen consolidates lead in Eneco Tour

by Agence France-Presse at 12:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Eneco Tour
Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen consolidated his lead of the Eneco Tour stage race by beating some of the more specialist fast men in a sprint for the finish of Monday's sixth stage.

Boasson Hagen, who rides for Team Columbia, grabbed precious bonus seconds for the win which, ahead of the final stage time trial over 13.1km on Tuesday, took his overall lead over American Tyler Farrar of Garmin to 21secs.

Farrar, the winner of three stages so far here and the leader until Boasson Hagen took over on Sunday, finished third on the stage just behind Australian Matthew Goss, of Saxo Bank.

A three-man breakaway, composed of Dutchmen Rick Flens and Huub Duyn and Russian Alexander Serov, provided some early drama on the 163.3km ride from Genk to Roermond.

They went on to build a lead of four minutes on the main bunch but, with the teams of Farrar and Boasson Hagen helping drive the chase their bid came to an end six kilometres from the finish line.

Boasson Hagen admitted the contribution from Australian teammate Mark Renshaw, the main sprint lead-out man for Mark Cavendish on his six-stage winning Tour de France campaign, had been decisive.

"The team worked great today, and Mark Renshaw did a superb job leading me out and getting me into position at the end," said Boasson Hagen.

"I'm happy I finally managed to beat Tyler Farrar, but I'm happy I also added a few bonus seconds before the final stage tomorrow (Tuesday).

"I still haven't won a time trial but I'm confident."

His victory hopes will be given a boost if, as expected, Farrar does not start Tuesday in a bid to gain a day of rest ahead of the start of the Tour of Spain, which begins Saturday.

Belgian Tom Boonen, who is also competing at the Tour of Spain, did likewise by sitting out Monday's stage.

Although Dane Lars Bak is third overall at 25, Quick Step rider Sylvain Chavanel, who won the prologue time trial, is Boasson Hagen's biggest threat in fourth overall at 31.

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Columbia 3hr 28min 58sec (average: 46,887 km/h), 2. Matthew Goss (AUS) s.t., 3. Tyler Farrar (USA) s.t., 4. Graeme Brown (AUS) s.t., 5. Francesco Chicchi (ITA) s.t., 6. Mark Renshaw (AUS) s.t., 7. Baden Cooke (AUS) s.t., 8. Kristof Goddaert (BEL) s.t., 9. Angelo Furlan (ITA) s.t., 10. Klaas Lodewyck (BEL) s.t.Selected: 44. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) s.t.

Overall standings
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Columbia 26hr 33min 33sec, 2. Tyler Farrar (USA) at 21sec, 3. Lars Bak (DEN) 25, 4. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) 31, 5. Joost Posthuma (NED) 33, 6. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) 35, 7. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) 38, 8. Jan Bakelants (BEL) 38, 9. Maxime Monfort (BEL) 39, 10. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) 42

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