Boasson Hagen over illness, gets green light for Tour
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Boasson Hagen over illness, gets green light for Tour

by Conal Andrews at 9:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Norwegian pledges complete support to Wiggins in yellow jersey bid

Edvald Boasson HagenNow fully over the shingles he suffered earlier this month, Edvald Boasson Hagen has confirmed that he will take part in this year’s Tour de France.

The Norwegian rider was advised to rest by doctors when the illness flared up recently. There was concern that he might miss the Tour de France, but these fears have proved unfounded.

“I've never been feeling sick, I just had a bit of a rash on my back but that's gone now,” he said this morning. “I feel just as good as I did before.

“The doctor said I had to take it easy for a little while and get a bit of rest in order to recover as quickly as possible. I'm happy it's all worked out and I can focus on the Tour de France.”

Boasson Hagen’s early season was affected by injury, but he showed superb form in the Critérium du Dauphiné when he rode strongly for Bradley Wiggins. The Briton won the race, and the victory was due in part to Boasson Hagen’s effort in driving the group along and containing attacks. He’s known as a strong rider on the flat and undulating terrain but his form was such that he was able to hammer in the mountains.

“I was feeling really good at the Dauphiné. I worked hard on my climbing there and it was nice to see that I could go in that front group and really help Bradley,” he said.

“Despite the rash, I haven't felt bad at any point since then so I'm really looking forward to the Tour where I'll be doing everything I can to help get a good result for the team, that's the main thing.”

Indeed he showed that he was still strong when he won the Norwegian time trial championship last weekend. It was his fifth consecutive win there.

Boasson Hagen is regarded as one of the most talented young riders in the sport. His characteristics mean that he could content for the Maillot Vert, but he said that he is going to put those thoughts to one side. “The main target is to help Bradley. I'm not focussed on the green jersey - if I should get it at one point I would be really happy but it's all about working for the team,” he promised.

He will have some scope to chase personal goals in the flatter stages. He and Ben Swift will be the designated team sprinters and will try to take home at least one victory. Boasson Hagen said that they will cooperate fully, deciding who is best suited to that day’s finish, and that the day’s protected rider will be led out by the other.


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