Norwegian Oakley Cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen Wins 71st Gent-Wevelgem


Oakley’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, 21, won the 203-kilometre Gent-Wevelgem today
in Belgium. The Columbia-Highroad rider escaped with Aleksandr
Kuschynski (Liquigas) near the second ascent of the Kemmelberg with 36
kilometres to go. Pre-race favourite Mark Cavendish (Columbia-
Highroad) flatted early and subsequently missed the move of the day.

His young Norwegian teammate Boasson Hagen, however, kept the victory
within the team. “It’s my biggest win so far,” he said. It wasn’t
planned, though. “I just wanted to do a good job for the team and be
in the breakaway.” Boasson Hagen benefited from having strong
teammates with him. “George [Hincapie], [Marcus] Burghardt and I
worked really well together when the others started attacking.”

The sprint was almost a formality. “I felt strong and we were working
well together until the last kilometre. 300m to go was a good moment
to take off.” He agreed it was a long sprint, “but normally I can hold
it and I was confident.”

Boasson Hagen joined a list of famous Gent-Wevelgem winners at a very
young age, like Bernard Hinault or Eddy Merckx. “That’s quite
special,” Boasson Hagen said. Team Manager Bob Stapleton added that
Edvald Boasson Hagen is also nicknamed Eddy.

Boasson Hagen went after the race-winning move by Kuschynski and the
two joined after the descent of the Kemmelberg. Kuschynski knew it
would be hard to beat Boasson Hagen. “I wanted to set a strong rhythm,
but in the end I was lacking strength. He got about five metres of an
advantage,” said Kuschynski. “He was just faster in the sprint.”


Tess Weaver


April 08, 2009

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