Boasson Hagen and Pauwels pleased with Wiggins signing, aiming for Tour de France debuts
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Boasson Hagen and Pauwels pleased with Wiggins signing, aiming for Tour de France debuts

by Conal Andrews at 6:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Future team-mates Edvald Boasson Hagen and Serge Pauwels have both welcomed the news that Bradley Wiggins will race with Team Sky in 2010, feeling that their roles will work well with that of the Briton.

Boasson Hagen has emerged as one of the best young talents in the sport, taking victories such as Gent-Wevelgem, the Eneco Tour of the Benelux, the Tour of Britain plus a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2009. He’s still only 22 years of age and is predicted by many as being a future champion.

Wiggins will undoubtedly command a lot of the attention at Sky, but the Norwegian time trial champion doesn’t envisage much of an overlap.

“It's fine for me,” he told TV 2 Sport in his home country. “He is a different type of rider than me, so he is not a direct competitor.”

Providing the team gets an invite, it’s likely that the two former Columbia HTC team-mates will be on the Tour de France squad next season. Wiggins finished fourth this year and the team will be fully backing his efforts to finish on the podium.

Boasson Hagen will have to work as well, but this shouldn’t interfere much with his goals. “I’ll ride the Tour de France to improve my experience, and above all to complete the race,” he explained. “I do not see this as something negative for me.”

Belgian rider Pauwels moves from the Cervélo Test Team this winter, and expects to play a similar supporting role as he did with another Tour de France contender this year.

“He is a logical addition,” he told Het Laaste Nieuws. “For my own development, his arrival is a very good thing. A leader like Wiggins has seen the world I’ve done for Carlos Sastre in the Giro. I can do the same for Wiggins in the Tour.”

In order to improve the chances of making his debut in the biggest race in cycling, Pauwels plans to work hard on his climbing in the months ahead. The 26 year old intends to rent an apartment in Spain in order to give him access to the high mountains.

“For the next six months, Spain will be my base for my preparation for the Tour. The temporary relocation is necessary to improve as a climber and to become a better rider. I hope I won’t be too lonely there.”

Should he decide to move to Girona, he would have plenty of company there. The Garmin-Transitions team are based in the town, as is former Cervélo team-mate Philip Deignan. Wiggins also lived there in 2009, although it remains to be seen if he will remain there next year or decide to move elsewhere.


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