Boasson Hagen had been struggling with stomach pains over the Christmas period and they returned after wedding his girlfriend Marlen just over a week ago. The pains were such that he decided to visit the doctors at the Olympiatoppen – an organisation that is part of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports.
"I did not quite know what the reason was. I struggled pneumonia over Christmas and had a lot of pain in my stomach. It flared up again after the wedding and it got sore," Boasson Hagen told Procycling.no. "I decided to go to Olympiatoppen the day before I went to a training session in Spain to check out why I was so bad in my stomach."
Doctors suspected Boasson Hagen's problems were being caused by an inflamed gallbladder. The inflammation is generally caused by gallstones but doctors did not find anything to indicate that Boasson Hagen had any. However, they chose to do keyhole surgery and remove the gallbladder. The pain has now gone and Boasson Hagen has no regrets.
"I was in a lot of pain at times, so it was good to get it checked out. I have received very good follow-up at both Olympiatoppen and Ullevål Hospital. It is great that the pain has now gone away," said Boasson Hagen.
Boasson Hagen says that skiing is not an option at the moment, but he will be able to get back on the bike soon enough. The break in training means that his racing programme will take a bit of a bit as he gets back up to form. The Norwegian was originally due to start his season at the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana at the start of February but is now more likely that he will begin at the Volta ao Algarve a few weeks later. He believes that the surgery will not have an impact on his main goal of the season, the Classics.
"The race in Valencia is not the most important thing on the calendar, so I'm really glad that this happened now,” he said. “There is no reason to go around with a defective gallbladder. I still believe I will come into the Classics in shape.”