Sunderland expects big things of Boasson Hagen, no new approach to Cavendish
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunderland expects big things of Boasson Hagen, no new approach to Cavendish

by Conal Andrews at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Team Sky director Scott Sunderland     is counting down the days to the start of the new season, and what will be the official start of the new ProTour project.

The Australian has been working for over a year on helping to set up the team, doing a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work. He’s looking forward to seeing how the riders fare, and anticipates big things from one of its youngest riders.

“We expect much from a guy like Edvald Boasson Hagen, who is undoubtedly one of the great riders of tomorrow,” he told DH Sports. “He is a rider who can fight for the win in a lot of races, but he appears to have decided to focus his season on the one-day races. He has the capacities to one day aim for the classification in a Grand Tour…[but] everything in its own time.

“His career is very clear in his mind. With Flecha, Kurt-Asle Arvessen, Hayman, Sutton and Barry, he will be one of our riders for the Flandrian Classics. For the Walloon races, we will rely on Gerrans, Lövkvist and maybe Wiggins, who could aim for the Ardennes races.”

Wiggins announced earlier this month that he was moving to the team, foregoing the final year of his contract with Garmin-Transitions. Top sprinter Mark Cavendish is another who is known to be on the team’s wish-list, but Sunderland said that the team has no intention to do anything about that right now.

“He is still under contract to Columbia for 2010 and he feels very good [there],” he said. “We will reconsider this issue next winter.”

Team Sky is Britain’s first ProTour squad, and dwarfs previous setups such as ANC-Halfords and the Linda McCartney Racing Team. It evolved out of the highly successful British track team project and has the aim of winning the Tour with a home rider within the next five years.

However Sunderland stresses that the nationality of the competitors is not the be-all and end-all of things. “Although the team is English and the sponsor is interested in this identity, the passport of the riders didn’t completely guide our choice.

“We obviously recruited Bradley Wiggins but those moving to us are also Norwegian, Austrian and Spanish. We are a young team that relies, in essence, on the future [talent]. The experience of some road captains is invaluable, but we also expect much of guys like Edvald Boasson Hagen.”

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