Edvald Boasson Hagen expecting Team Sky to try to dethrone him of his Tour of Britain lead

Edvald Baosson Hagen is back in the lead of the Aviva Tour of Britain, six years since he won the race, but he would prefer it if Team Sky s Wouter Poels, one second back, was in yellow

Edvald Boasson Hagen Expecting Team Sky To Try To Dethrone Him Of His Tour Of Britain Lead

Edvald Boasson Hagen after stage five of the 2015 Tour of Britain Credit: Tour of Britain

The mission to defend the Aviva Tour of Britain1 yellow jersey is a complicated one for Edvald Boasson Hagen2 who is expecting Team Sky to disrupt the current standings. The MTN-Qhubeka rider, winner of the race in 2009 courtesy of four stage victories, was overtaken and beaten before the line at the summit of Hartside Fell on Wednesday by Sky s Wouter Poels3. But he minimised his losses enough and bonus seconds of six, added to the four he collected in Blyth on Wednesday, are enough to give him a one second lead over the Dutchman, which if maintained would see him become the first ever double-winner of the modern race.

>>> Six reasons why you cannot miss Friday s Tour of Britain stage4

Boasson-Hagen, though, is not likely to instruct his MTN team-mates to take position at the front of the peloton for the duration of tomorrow s stage from Stoke to Nottingham, the final stage where time gaps are likely to be forthcoming in the general classification. Instead, it is in Sky s hands to dispose him of the lead. I tried to go as fast as possible at the end of the stage but I don t know if one second is good or bad, he said.

It might be better for us as a team if he Poels had the jersey but still we work and try to keep it. I m happy to have the jersey but tomorrow s stage will be hard.

They have been taking responsibility and they really want to win but they ve already won a lot of stages three but they have to be careful to what they can do.

I just have to follow and try to ride smart. I need to try and defend the jersey.

>>> Sky s Wout Poels wins Tour of Britain stage five as Boasson Hagen claims overall lead5

The advantage for Boasson Hagen is that his sprinting capabilities can claim him bonus points, and if a fractured leading bunch is formed after the Peak District hills tomorrow, there are two sprints in the final 35km offering bonus seconds that the Norwegian could add to his lead. The weekend s final two sprint stages, too, could offer the Norwegian national champion an opportunity for more bonus seconds, something Poels is aware of.


Watch: Secrets of the Toolbox MTN-Qhubeka


Boasson Hagen is a really good sprinter so it s going to be hard for me but tomorrow s a hard stage, Poels commented. One second is not a lot but it can be enough.

It would be nice if I could take time but he is in really good shape so it s going to be a really close battle.

It s going to be really close all the way to the end, Boasson Hagen cautiously noted.

I will fight as hard as possible but, still, there s many hard stages to go and we will see day by day.

It s a better feeling to cross the line in first but now I wear the jersey, it doesn t mean I ve won it.

References

  1. ^ Aviva Tour of Britain (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Edvald Boasson Hagen (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Sky s Wout Poels wins Tour of Britain stage five as Boasson Hagen claims overall lead (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Six reasons why you cannot miss Friday s Tour of Britain stage (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Sky s Wout Poels wins Tour of Britain stage five as Boasson Hagen claims overall lead (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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