Criterium du Dauphine: Boasson Hagen revives Dimension Data's troubled season
09 June 2019 04:46
Where would Dimension Data be without Edvald Boasson Hagen? With just one win all season, that's where, and on stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné the Norwegian provided a timely reminder of his importance within a team that has struggled for consistency and wins for over 18 months. In the French town of Jussac, Boasson Hagen was at his best, first surviving the undulating terrain and then the accelerations from Julian Alaphilippe and his Deceuninck-QuickStep team when the road hit the final climb before the finish. That Boasson Hagen had to navigate at least the final 600m on his own, and fight from the back just to make it into contention said it all. When he came around Philippe Gilbert to take the stage and the opening yellow jersey of the race, one could feel the relief emanating from those inside the Dimension Data bus. After all, the team currently have four wins this campaign and three of those have come from their Norwegian. The fact that the 32-year-old lost the majority of his spring to illness and still tops the internal victory charts should have the management scratching their heads, especially given the heavy investment the team made in several new signings over the winter.ADVERTISEMENT "I just tried to get in a good wheel and I was lucky to have a good run through the corner and could carry on the speed. I think it was [Nils] Politt from Katusha-Alpecin, I was sitting on his wheel through the corner and managed to keep the speed so I'm happy that I managed to get through the corner in such a good position and finally I could get a lead-out from someone else and not me making a lead-out for someone else and opening it up too early," Boasson Hagen said during his winner's press conference. The Dauphiné has been a happy hunting ground for Boasson Hagen over the years with five wins spanning almost a decade. Although he has often faced questions over his lack of success in Monuments his class on the bike and popularity within the peloton have never been in doubt. A career with 78 wins to date and three Grand Tour stages don't just happen by luck and he can count himself unfortunate if Dimension Data fail to build at least half of their Tour de France line up around him. "It's my fifth victory here but I also think it's around the time of the year I'm in good form and it's a race I like," he said modestly.
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