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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) was Phinney's closest challenger
Norwegian focused on road race in Copenhagen
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) will forgo the time trial at the world championships order to focus his energies on the road race, where he will form a fearsome double act with reigning champion Thor Hushovd.
The Norwegian acknowledged that “maybe a top ten” finish would be the summit of his ambition in the time trial, and he has instead opted to prepare specifically for the road race. The flat Copenhagen circuit has been touted to produce a bunch sprint, and both Boasson Hagen and Hushovd could be to the fore on the slightly uphill finishing straight.
“I have chosen to concentrate on the road race,” Boasson Hagen told aftenposten.no. “With such a tight schedule, it’s difficult to make time for both.”
Boasson Hagen won his fifth consecutive Norwegian time trial title in June, but admitted that it would not be feasible to do himself justice in both the time trial and the road race in Copenhagen.
“It would have required much more specialized training,” he admitted. “I would have had to have been on the time trial bike more often and I’m afraid it would have taken something from me for the road race.”
Boasson Hagen has not ridden the Worlds time trial since Mendrisio in 2009, when he finished 27th and over five minutes down on winner Fabian Cancellara. Now 24, Boasson Hagen put in solid performance in the final time trial of this year’s Tour de France, even if an untimely bike change saw him finish in 12th place.
“I haven’t been put under any pressure to race the time trial,” Boasson Hagen said. “I said well before the Tour de France that I would consider it if I won the time trial there, but I did not.”
Fresh from two stage wins at the Tour de France and a fine overall victory at the Eneco Tour, Boasson Hagen is enjoying a rich spell of form this summer. He lines up at the Vattenfall Cyclassics this weekend, and he will then ride the GP Ouest France-Plouay, the GP de Quebec and the GP de Montréal, before travelling to Copenhagen for the Worlds.