Columbia confident of Boasson Hagen’s Eneco chances

21 seconds should see Norwegian survive time trial

Team Columbia-HTC believes Edvald Boasson Hagen will hold on to his Eneco Tour lead and win this year’s race heading into today’s final stage. Team sports director Tristan Hoffman believes Boasson Hagen has the psychologically edge heading into the closing individual time trial, where his race lead will come under pressure from the discipline’s specialists.

“He's now got nearly 30 seconds on the time trial specialists overall, and psychologically today's victory should give him the edge on his rivals for the final time trial," said Hoffman.

Should the young rider hold on to some of his 21 second lead after the 13.1-kilometre stage in Amersfoort, it will be his first stage race victory.

“My advantage should be enough to win overall, and I hope I get the victory because it would be a nice way to say thank you to the team for helping me so much here," said Boasson Hagen.

The Norwegian rider out-sprinted Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream), second on general classification, on Stage 6 to accumulate vital bonus seconds. "We couldn't have asked for a better result," said Hoffman. "We had to make a decision whether we went for the bonus seconds or not, and we decided to go for them. Other teams were interested in a bunch sprint, and in the last 10 kilometres it all came together.

“We knew Farrar was fast in a sprint, but Edvald's form is getting better and better,” he added.

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