Edvald Boasson Hagen is widely regarded as one of the most talented young cyclists in the world and in 2010 he continued his progression as one of the strongest and fastest riders in the peloton.
Hard-fought victories at Ghent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Britain in 2009 made him one of Team Sky’s highest-profile signings when he was snapped up from Team Columbia and he hit the ground running by helping his new employers to victory in the very first stage of the Tour of Qatar.
By his next race at the Tour of Oman ‘Eddy Boss’ was flying and his two stage victories and two further podium positions netted him both the young rider and points classification jerseys.
Another stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico was to follow in March but his spring classics campaign was spoiled by an Achilles injury he picked up at Milan-San Remo which forced him to miss a number of important races.
Boasson Hagen proved he was back to his best by winning the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré in June and just 10 days later he claimed the Norwegian time trial champion’s jersey for the fourth year in succession.
He made his long-awaited debut at the Tour de France in July and sprinted to two podium positions inside the very first week of competition.
That fine form showed no signs of abating as the season neared its conclusion and Edvald followed up a remarkable solo win at the Dutch Food Valley Classic with further top-three finishes at the Vattenfall Cyclassics, Eneco Tour and GP Cycliste de Quebec.
Looking back on 2010, Boasson Hagen is happy to have made such an immediate impact, but insists a large part of his success has been down to the help and support of his team-mates throughout the season.
He said: "It feels really good that I’ve been able to achieve what I have done and I think it shows how well the team has worked together to support me.
“A lot of the time I just finish off what they have put into place for me and some days I feel like I can fly past everyone.
“It was great to be selected for the Tour de France and having thousands of fans there to cheer the team on definitely motivated me to reach the finish line in Paris. One day I would love to win a stage in that race but I think I still need a bit more experience before that can happen.”
Q & A
How did you get into cycling?
My brother started mountain biking and I wanted to be just like him, so I started as well. When I was 15- years-old I tried road bike for the first time and thought it was fun. So until I was 18 years I did both road and mountain biking, but in the end I like road biking more, so I chose that. And I am really happy I stayed on the road.
What are your hobbies? Do you participate in any other sport?
I like to take pictures and edit my own photos. I like almost everything with an engine on it. I like speed and action. And I´m from Norway so in the wintertime I like to go skiing, x country and twin tip.
I actually have no heroes, I just love to go cycling.My brother influenced me to get on the bike and for that I am grateful.
Do you follow a special race diet?
Not really, but I like to eat a slice of bread with philadelphia cheese and scrambled eggs, ham, and then cheese on top again. That's really good. Philladelphia cheese is good on everything.
How do you train? How will you train for the Tour de France?
I have a personal trainer that sets up my training schedule. I will do a lot of long rides, some intervals and train at home before the TdF. I like training at home before big races and it always seems to be good for me.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
Mallorca is probably the most beautiful and scenic place I have ridden, but riding at home in Norway is always the best place for me. The norwegian gas stations have a great selection of cookies and cakes that make the training rides perfect!
What are your goals for this year?
I want to win a stage at the TDF and I hope to get a good result at one of the spring classics.
What is the best advice you have heard?
To keep focused on what I am doing and train hard for what you want and not be stressed by outside distractions.
What is the best advice you have heard on improving in your sport?
To keep doing what I am doing.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced and how did you overcome it?
I had some hardcore stomach problems during races and I needed to find the right food and nutrition that fits my body. It took some research, testing and failing, but now I have a good nutrition plan with a Norwegian company that makes me sports drinks that my body can handle.
Describe your equipment.
Pinarello Dogma, Dure-Ace Di2, Adidas clothing, Mavic cycling shoes, Oakley glasses!