Team Sky's Norwegian trio of Boasson Hagen, Arvesen, and Nordhaug planning 2011 campaigns
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Team Sky's Norwegian trio of Boasson Hagen, Arvesen, and Nordhaug planning 2011 campaigns

by Jered Gruber at 4:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Boasson Hagen and Arvesen eyeing cobbled glory while Nordhaug hopes for success in the Ardennes

Team Sky's Norwegian trio of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Lars Petter Nordhaug, and Kurt Asle Arvesen are currently engaged in Sky's first camp of the young season outside of London at Windsor. The threesome spoke with ProCycling.no about their spring schedule, and there's no doubting the goals - it's time for some results on the cobbles for Arvesen and Boasson Hagen, whilst young Nordhaug is hoping for success on the hilly roads of the Ardennes.

All three will make their season debuts in the Middle East. Arvesen and Nordhaug will start the soonest and make their season start at the Tour of Qatar on the 6th of February (and finishing the 11th). Arvesen will then go to the Tour of Oman, where Boasson Hagen will make his season debut.

Last season, Boasson Hagen rode a beautiful Tour of Oman to take two stage wins, the first in a bunch sprint over Tyler Farrar and Tom Boonen, and the second, in a time trial, taking the mighty scalp of Fabian Cancellara. Unfortunately, due to an ill-timed pee break, his overall hopes were lost.

It seems highly unlikely that that type of mistake will not ruin his chances in 2011.

Kurt Asle Arvesen will be hoping to make it past the Tour of Qatar this season. He came up with a broken collarbone in the first race of 2010, starting what would be arguably his most frustrating season as a professional. While 2011 might prove to be his final year as a professional cyclist, Arvesen still has a lot of goals, and he intends to use the Middle Eastern start of the year to get off to a good beginning, then it's on to the traditional cobbled classic prep.

"I'll ride Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo before before the Classics in Belgium and France. I'll go to the Amstel Gold Race as well. I've raced it eight times before, but it has been a good while since the last time," said the five-time Norwegian national champion to ProCycling.no.

While Arvesen and Boasson Hagen's focus is rightly placed on the cobbles, Lars Petter Nordhaug is eyeing the Ardennes. Following a disappointing Ardennes session for team captain, Simon Gerrans, Nordhaug had his own chance to shine over the spring. He didn't get any big results, but his rides demonstrated a lot of possibilities, and in 2011, he hopes to show that there's a lot more to come.

"This is the most important period for me during the spring season. I can prepare myself properly this time. There will be an early start to the season in Qatar, then the Vuelta a Murcia. I'll do a training camp in mid-March, and then I'll do the Tour of the Basque Country," said the 26 year old neo-pro.

Following what should hopefully be a successful Ardennes campaign, Nordhaug will head to the Giro d'Italia, which will be his second Grand Tour. Nordhaug wasn't able to finish his first Grand Tour due to the Team Sky withdrawal from the Vuelta following the tragic death of Txema Gonzalez at the Vuelta.

For Boasson Hagen and Arvesen, however, all eyes are on the Tour de France, especially for Arvesen.

"I'm on the tentative team for the Tour, and I'm hoping for a good season. I'm certainly motivated like never before," warns the 36 year old all-around.

A closer look at the schedules is definitely interesting - notice how little Boasson Hagen will race before the Tour of Flanders. At the moment, he's only set to do five races before Vlaanderens Mooiste. Five!

Edvald Boasson Hagen
Tour of Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, Dauphine, Norwegian Championships, Tour?

It's apparent that there will be a big emphasis on quality racing over quantity, with a lot of training in between. Compare that to Kurt Asle Arvesen's schedule. It looks a lot more traditional.

Kurt Asle-Arvesen
Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman, Het Volk, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, Tour de Suisse, Norwegian Championships, Tour?

It would seem logical for Boasson Hagen to take part in races like Het Volk or Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, or the Strade Bianche, but Sky appear to be trying to really keep the young mega talent from doing too much racing. It would seem likely that Boasson Hagen will have a great chance in Copenhagen at the World Championships to finish the season, so perhaps a light, very focused Spring campaign will go to a Tour de France, Vuelta, Worlds finale?

As for Nordhaug, the theme of light but extremely focused racing holds true as well. There are no secondary, little races on his schedule either.

Lars Petter Nordhaug
Tour of Qatar, Vuelta Murcia, Criterium International, Basque Country, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Giro, Route du Sud, Norwegian Championships

It will be very interesting to see how things play out for Sky's three Norwegian riders in 2011. That's for sure.

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