Boasson Hagen hoping for strong Qatar showing
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Boasson Hagen hoping for strong Qatar showing

by VeloNation Press at 5:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar

Today is an important day for Edvald Boasson Hagen, who gets his 2010 season underway and also makes his official debut with his new Team Sky squad.

The Tour of Qatar begins with a short 8.2 kilometre team time trial, and with individual and team pursuit specialists such as Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas on board, plus Boasson Hagen’s brute strength, Sky will be one of those to watch.

“I think we have a strong team in Qatar, so I think it is going to be a good team time trial,” the 22 year old told VeloNation yesterday. “Hopefully everything goes well and we can get a good result.”

Sky will be up against other strong teams in the discipline, including last year’s winners Garmin-Transitions, the Quick Step team of multiple Tour of Qatar winner Tom Boonen plus the Saxo Bank squad of world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara.

Several teams are making their 2010 debut today and so a big result is important for morale. The team time trial has become increasingly valued in recent years and whichever team comes out on top will score important psychological points at this early part of the season.

A good performance could also set Boasson Hagen up for a strong overall placing in the race. When on form, he is a very strong sprinter, as evidenced by his four stage victories (plus the overall and points classifications) in last year’s Tour of Britain.

“I feel quite good,” he said, before stating that racing will show how his condition really is. “The season starts tomorrow, so I will have a better idea then. Hopefully I am going well…I think I will be good for the spring.”

While Team Sky’s riders have thus far had a quiet race in the Etoile de Bessèges, the squad picked up two wins in Australia last month and the mood is positive. Boasson Hagen seems happy with his move from HTC Columbia.

“I have some very good team-mates. I like the team, there is good management,” he said. “It is really nice to be in the team, it is a strong team. I am looking forward to starting racing. Hopefully the team time trial goes well, and if I have the chance, I will also try in the sprints here.”


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