Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka performed a great leadout for Edvald Boasson Hagen who did very well to make podium as he sprinted to third place on stage 11 of Tour de France.
Once again, the early break got away right from the beginning of the day. This time, three riders decided to take on the peloton, which didn’t seem too concerned about the situation. The front trio quickly established a gap of four minutes before the pack started to chase. With several teams eager to take control of the peloton, the break wasn’t left many chances of succeeding. However, one of the riders at the front, Maciej Bodnar (BORA-hansgrohe), almost managed to upset the expected bunch sprint.
As the riders took on the last 20 km, Bodnar attacked and went solo. This effort had the gap to the peloton increase instantly and it took a while before the teams of the sprinters reacted. With just a couple of kilometers left to go, Bodnar still enjoyed a small gap on the pack. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka then went to the front to set the pace and ultimately, Bodnar got caught just 300 meters from the finishing line.
Boasson Hagen was the first of the sprinters to launch his sprint. The strong Norwegian charged towards the line in the right side of the road but despite an impressive effort, he had to see Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) overtake him and win the stage. Boasson Hagen crossed the line in third place to take his second podium in this year’s Tour de France. Chris Froome (Team Sky) kept the yellow jersey for another day, while Serge Pauwels still sits in 31st place overall.
Edvald Boasson Hagen:
“The team was incredible today. Once again, the leadout was so good. I just didn’t have big enough gears for the sprint. It’s frustrating to come so close and not win, especially when the team does such a great job. However, Kittel is clearly very strong. It’s a pity we don’t have Mark [Cavendish] at the end of our leadout because the way the guys are working, Mark would definitely have been challenging Kittel here”.