Hat trick and race lead for Boasson Hagen in Britain
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hat trick and race lead for Boasson Hagen in Britain

by Ben Atkins at 12:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Britain
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) won his third successive stage of the Tour of Britain in a bunch sprint in the Potteries city of Stoke-on-Trent. The Norwegian sprinter has equalled his three stage victories of last year, and the ten second time bonus means that he takes the leader’s yellow jersey from Rabobank’s Kai Reus, who has held it since stage 2. Italian champion Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) was second, ahead of Russell Downing (CandiTV)

“The course today was very hard with the wind and up and down all day,” said Boasson Hagen after the finish, “but it was a nice course and actually I like the finish.

“It’s a nice finish,” he said of the site of the first of his stage wins last year, “a little bit tricky but I like it.

"It's a good win today because the team worked really hard for the whole stage. I like this finish and Maxime [Monfort] gave me a perfect lead out into the final corner," he said. "We've got a strong team so I hope we can defend the lead."

Once again the stage was dominate by a break, consisting of: Dan Fleeman (Cervelo TestTeam), Alan Marangoni (CSF Navigare) and Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor). Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel) chased hard to catch the other three and between them built a lead that reached six minutes at its maximum.

The break was caught with 5km to go by work from Team Columbia-HTC’s Tony Martin and Maxime Monfort. The team launched Boasson Hagen with 300m to go and no one was able to come around him.

Vogondy was awarded the combativity prize for his efforts in the break. “By the time I actually got to them I was quite exhausted,” he said afterwards, “which is why I couldn’t help them at the end. I did my maximum. They reached us five kilometres before the finish; it’s the same every day!”

“The last two-year’s we have won,” he continued, referring to the victories of Romain Feillu in 2007 and Geoffroy Lequatre in 2008, “but the General Classification is finished for us this year. We will try, everyday, to win stages. We’ll do our best everyday.”

Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream), fourth place in this year’s Tour de France didn’t start the stage in order to spend time preparing for the World Championships at the end of the month.

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