Boasson Hagen evaluates his Milano-Sanremo chances
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boasson Hagen evaluates his Milano-Sanremo chances

by Samuel Morrison at 11:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo

Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen stepped up from Milano-Sanremo outside favourite to hot pick after his sprint win at Tirreno-Adriatico Tuesday in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy. Team Sky will support the 22-year-old, but will that support come in a sprint or an attack?

"I am young and Sanremo is very long and difficult. It will be only my second participation. Last year, I was dropped on the Cipressa like Lance Armstrong, but I used a lot of energy to make sure that [eventual winner Mark] Cavendish was covered," Boasson Hagen told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The distance is the unknown: I have only trained up to 275 kilometres. But I have improved on the climbs and I will have experienced team-mates at my side. I can win with an attack or even wait for the sprint. I would like to arrive solo, though."

Milano-Sanremo is known as a sprinters' classic, but the climbs in the closing 50 kilometres provide chances for attackers and force the sprinters dig deep.

The thing is that Boasson Hagen may just as well attack with his rivals on the final climb, the Poggio. It is unknown and Sky will play out this advantage Saturday.

Boasson Hagen, three wins so far this season, received praise from cycling great Eddy Merckx. Merckx said that Boasson Hagen reminds him of himself some 40 years ago, in other words he can win anything and everything.

"I am flattered that he said that," continued Boasson Hagen. "I would like to win in the classics and in the grand tours. For now, I am near my first goal.

"I dream about Paris-Roubaix, which is the hardest race. Amongst the riders, I look up to [Tom] Boonen and [Fabian] Cancellara. Tom is the favourite for Sanremo seeing how he is going so strong on the climbs. I want to be strong like Cancellara in the time trials and have a sprint like Tom Boonen."


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