Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) enjoyed a switch in roles in the finale of Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. So often the beneficiary of a Team Sky lead-out, the talented Norwegian instead opened the sprint for his teammate Chris Sutton, as he realised he lacked the sharpness to take the win himself after his exertions in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the previous day.
“It’s nice to give something back,” Boasson Hagen told procycling.no. “Sutton and the rest of the team have worked for me so many times before. It’s great that he got the win.”
Sky’s black jerseys were prominent on the run-in to Kuurne, as they massed on the front to shut down a dangerous move from Tom Boonen (Quick Step). In the finishing straight, it was then up to Boasson Hagen to marshal his teammate Sutton to victory.
“Ian Stannard and Juan Antonio Flecha drove for about a kilometre each before I took over,” Boasson Hagen explained. “I opened the sprint with 500 metres left and led out until 150 metres from the line. Sutton took over in the final metres and it was great to take the lead in such a controlled sprint.”
While the finale ran smoothly for Sky and Boasson Hagen, the Norwegian admitted that he was fortunate to avoid the crash that marked the race’s passage over the Oude Kwaremont. He managed to avoid that carnage that ended the aspirations of a number of riders, including Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil).
“I was the last one who came through unscathed, before the whole road was blocked,” Boasson Hagen. “There were riders everywhere. I was really lucky because when I turned around it was hectic behind me. I’d think about half the field was caught up in it.”
Boasson Hagen’s next competitive outing will come at Tirreno-Adriatico, as he builds towards Milan-San Remo. After a solid second place at the Tour of Oman, he is confident that he can convert his form into victories in the weeks ahead.
“I feel good in terms of where we are in the season,” he said. “I have a fairly free role on the team, so if I see a chance, I take it. It’s about finding the right moment.”