With fourth place at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Edvald Boasson Hagen is hitting form at just the right time ahead of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The Norwegian had a delayed start to the season due to gallbladder surgery and has slowly been improving since his Volta ao Algarve season debut.
In the pouring rain that dominated the 2018 edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen, Boasson Hagen made the selection in the winning move. The Dimension Data rider joining Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education), Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-Floors), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), and Mike Teunissen (Sunweb). When Lampaert made his move to claim the win, Boasson Hagen lead the charge from behind but in the sprint for the line, was pipped Vanmarcke. The result his best yet for 2018.
Despite missing the podium, the result was Boasson Hagen's highest in the classics since his fifth place at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix. The performance boding well for the Tour of Flanders Sunday and the 'queen of the classics' the following week.
"I am happy but also disappointed with today's race. It was a hard race which made it good for me," said Boasson Hagen. "I was always in a good position near the front, and I felt good enough to be part of all the definitive moves. It became tricky in the final when it was more about the tactics than strength.
"I was stupid not to follow Lampaert's last move initially, and then missed out on the podium because nobody wanted to chase so I led from too far out. So, I am pleased to have been part of the final and can take confidence from the positive signs of my form coming, but obviously, I would have liked more from today's race after coming so close."
The result also provided Dimension Data will important WorldTour points and was a slice of good news for the team which is currently in the midst of an injury crisis. In the last few weeks, crashes have sidelined Mark Cavendish, Bernie Eisel, Mekseb Debesay, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Scott Thwaites with serious injuries.
Come Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of Tour of Flanders, Boasson Hagen will be aiming for another high result with Flandrian Julien Vermote also looking to make his mark on the race.