Cycling: Boasson Hagen
Superb team effort by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka secures overall victory for Boasson Hagen
Edvald Boasson Hagen made it a hatrick of stage victories and won the final stage of the Tour des Fjords and with it, the overall general classification as well. Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) was 2nd on the final stage and Jereon Meijers (Roompot) placed 3rd.
The final stage of the Tour des Fjords got underway in the pouring rain and cold but the racing got heated really early on. 4 riders got away in an early move but as the wind picked up, the peloton was forced into the gutter and the echelons formed. With 100km to go, the break was caught with the race splitting to pieces. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was relishing the tough conditions, keeping Boasson Hagen well placed up at the front.
By the time the riders reached the finishing circuit in Stavanger, which would be completed 3 times, there was only 35 riders left in the front group. Our African Team had Boasson Hagen, Jaco Venter, Jay Thomson and Youcef Reguigui at the head affairs with the final 30km to go. Thomson was doing a fine job setting the pace for the front group while Venter and Reguigui marked the attacks. Venter went away with 2 Joker riders in the final 20km which forced LottoNL-Jumbo to chase,
A counter attack then went with 8km to go which Venter was also able to mark, but when it looked like they might make it to the line, our South African sat up to help bring Boasson Hagen back into contention. It was a fantastic ride from Venter as he brought the 2 leaders back to within touching distance with 1km to go. Boasson Hagen, in very similar fashion to his win yesterday, showed incredible strength to start his sprint with 600 meters to go, overhaul the 2 leaders in the dying meters and then push on to take the stage and yellow jersey.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
I am really very happy to have won today’s stage and the overall but it wouldn’t have been possible without the team. The race has been difficult to control but the guys were riding so well all week. Today again, the team was in control and brought back all the dangerous moves. It was really close in the final today and I knew I still needed one second after getting some bonus seconds in the stage, but I could see the guys were tired in front. I made it a very long sprint and it’s great to have been able to pull it off.