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Stage 3 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
Team Sky’s Norwegian talent hoping to be more competitive in the spring
After a relatively disappointing 2013 season when he had just one WorldTour victory and failed to make any notable impact in the spring Classics, Edvald Boasson Hagen is set to shake-up his race programme in 2014 with the aim of raising his form for Paris-Roubaix and the other cobbled Classics.
Boasson Hagen has often shown flashes of his huge talent but then has been hit by illness and injury or failed to live up to expectations. He pulled out of this year's Tour de France after fracturing his right scapula but recovered to ride the Vuelta and the world championships in Tuscany. He was part of the Team Sky squad that won a bronze medal in the team time trial race and finished 20th in the road race. It was the last race of his 2013 season.
In a change to the programme he has followed for the past two seasons, the talented 26-year-old Norwegian will not head to Australia for the Tour Down Under in January. He may also miss Team Sky's training camp at altitude in Tenerife in late February/early March in order to keep his form up by racing more frequently than he did in the early weeks of last season.
"I am going to try something new; I'm not going to start in Australia at the Tour Down Under, but in February. And I'm going to ride more races before the Classics," Boasson Hagen told Procycling.no.
Boasson Hagen, who is about to begin his fifth season in Team Sky colours, explained: "The journey to Australia is too long and there are too few days of competition. I've tried it twice and now we will try something different, although my objectives will still be the same as they were: Paris-Roubaix and the cobbled Classics."
Team Sky’s Norwegian directeur sportif Kurt-Asle Arvesen confirmed that the changes to Boasson Hagen’s race calendar could mean him missing some or even all of Team Sky's training camp in Tenerife. He attended the intense training camp this season instead of riding Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico but his stay at high altitude failed to pay off at the Tour of Flanders or Roubaix as he failed to make the top 10 at either event.
"We might change the duration of the training camp and it is possible that we might keep Boasson Hagen's form up by putting him into other races," said Arvesen. "We will announce his programme during the coming week."
Team Sky will soon gather in Mallorca for the first training camp of the winter.