Sunderland: Boasson Hagen can win final stage in Qatar
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Sunderland: Boasson Hagen can win final stage in Qatar

by Conal Andrews at 5:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Team Sky senior sports director Scott Sunderland believes that Edvald Boasson Hagen can take today’s final stage of the Tour of Qatar, and net his first win of the season.

The 22 year old Norwegian placed third on yesterday’s fifth leg of the race, crossing the line just behind Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Danilo Napolitano (Katusha).

Sunderland said that the Sky rider was hemmed in and so lost out on the chance to net victory.

“He said to me straight away that it was tight on both his right and left so he wasn't quite able to open up, but that's the way it is sometimes.

"The good thing is he's got confirmation for himself and the team that when they do the work and it goes well he can win the race. He's ready to pounce!" he said on the team’s website.

Sunderland nevertheless credited the team with doing a good job. The riders had to work to haul back a dangerous break and then try to put Boasson Hagen into a good position.

"The boys were really motivated to go out there and get amongst it. They did a really good job on the front and the form is coming along all the time. They are getting to know each other a lot better too and starting to work very well as a team out on the road.

"They did the job they had to do and Edvald almost had the legs to pull it off, so it was a fantastic effort.”

Today’s final stage will be run off on the Doha Corniche and a bunch sprint is almost guaranteed. Boonen has already conceded that the overall victory will go to ongoing race leader Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), but will aim for his third stage win of this year’s event.

A number of other sprinters will do likewise, but Sunderland feels that Boasson Hagen could pull it off. The team will do its utmost to help that happen.

"Everybody is going to be up there for sure - we'll be giving it full gas and the riders are very motivated to go out there and show their colours again. We're looking forward to it.

"We've made a lot of progress, are finishing on a strong note and can then look to take that form into the Tour of Oman," he concluded.

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