Edvald Boasson Hagen won his first Norwegian road championship Sunday, despite a double puncture with only two and a half laps of the circuit course to go. The Sky Procycling rider is now looking forward to sporting his country's national kit in the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.
“It was not optimal with a double puncture,” he told ProCycling.no. “I had a flat and uncontrolled oscillation. Luckily I managed to stay on my wheels and not crash. It was a bit critical, but fortunately the field was calm and it went well.”
With 24km to go, his Sky teammate Lars Petter Nordhaug attacked and passed the two riders who were in the lead. Shortly thereafter, Boasson Hagen joined him and two increased their lead to the end. The duo “smiled and laughed to the end,” and in the end it was Boasson Hagen “who was allowed to take the victory,” Procycling.no reported.
Ironically, Nordhaug had beaten Boasson Hagen for the national road title in 2006. This was Boasson Hagen's first road title, although he has won the time trial title every year from 2006 to 2011. He finished second in that race this year.
The victory was “really fun” the 25-year-old said, and “It will be fun to go the Tour now.
“It's always fun to ride in the Norwegian colours. Being able to show off the jersey on tv and in France will be fun.”
But also, Boasson Hagen said, “it is always important to win and bring in as many wins as you can. It is important to be able to go to the Tour de France and know that your form is in place.”