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Boasson Hagen to make Tour debut

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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) celebrated win number four.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) celebrated win number four.
(Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) put in a solid performance but finished 27th.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) put in a solid performance but finished 27th.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen catches a ride from a pair of dolphins.

Edvald Boasson Hagen catches a ride from a pair of dolphins.
(Image credit: Leo van Vliet)

Edvald Boasson Hagen says he’s expecting to make his Tour de France debut next year with new squad Team Sky. The Norwegian rider admits he’ll mainly be contesting the French event to accumulate experience riding the world’s largest stage race, but that hasn’t blunted his ambitions for July’s race.

“I’ll ride the Tour mainly to gain experience,” Boasson Hagen told Sporza.be. “My goal is to drive the race; I also hope to win a stage.”

Boasson Hagen enjoyed a successful year in 2009, claiming victory at Gent-Wevelgem, stages of both Tour of Poland and Tour of Britain and the overall classification in Britain. Now just 22-years-old, Boasson Hagen also claimed the Norwegian Time Trial Champion jersey and made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia this season, while riding for Columbia-HTC.

Following his success at Gent-Wevelgem this year, Boasson Hagen will be targeting the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix during the Northern Spring in 2010. He’ll likely be joining riders like Chris Sutton and Matthew Hayman throughout the team’s first Spring Classics campaign.

“I’m glad I can ride those races,” he said. “My goal is to perform there where possible.”

Team Sky will make its debut at January's Tour Down Under, the ProTour's opening round held in South Australia, Australia.