Edvald Boasson Hagen didn't think he would win the Tour de France prologue, but thought that his time of 7:24 would be enough to place him on the podium and bring him the white jersey for best young rider. But it wasn't enough and the Sky rider placed only fifth overall and second in the young rider competition.
Boasson Hagen took the lead with his ride, but was soon topped by Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). His dream of the white jersey disappeared when Tejay van Garderen (BMC) came in one second faster than him.
“I am very pleased. It was a bit sour when the white jersey went up in smoke there at the end, but it was a good start,” Boasson Hagen told procycling.no.
With no time bonuses in this year's race, he didn't think he would be able to overtake Van Garderen at the finish in Seraing in Sunday's first stage. “If he falls off and there are no crashes, it may be a possibility.”
The finale in Seraing is expected to be too difficult for the “classic” sprinters, but just right for riders such as Boasson Hagen, Philippe Gilbert and Peter Sagan. Team principal Dave Brailsford said that the team will ride for the young Norwegian if he is there at the end.
“Edvald has shown that he has a fantastic finish, and especially when the final is hard. There are no hard edges here, and then there is no reason why Edvald should not be there.”
Boasson Hagen said only, “I think I can get the chance and I will grab it.”
Both Boasson Hagen and teammate Christopher Froome rode the race under a “handicap”, which they didn't discover until afterwards – they wore each other's starting numbers.
“I will not say it was my fault,” Boasson Hagen said. The riders' names are printed on the numbers they attached to their jerseys, and when he saw his name on that number, “I figured it was okay. It's not my fault if the race organizers made a mistake.”
And he put it all in perspective by saying, “As long as I'm allowed to finish the Tour de France, I don't care what kind of numbers I have on my back.”
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