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With a fantastic late surge on the small rise to the finish, Boasson Hagen passed attackers Nordhaug, Staeke Laengen and Korsæth to win the Norwegian road race title; Eiking and Laengen completed the podium

Photo: Sirotti








28.06.2015 @ 21:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

A few days after winning the Norwegian time trial title, Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) took his second Norwegian road race title when he won an exciting 2015 edition of the national championships. With a powerful acceleration in the final uphill kilometre, he bridged a 15-second gap to Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) and the Joker duo of Vegard Staeke Laengen and Truls Korsæth and managed to hold off Odd Eiking (Joker ) and Laengen before raising his arms to celebrate the win.


After an injury-marred start to his first season at MTN-Qhubeka, Edvald Boasson Hagen has clearly found his best form in time for the Tour de France. Three days ago he won the Norwegian time trial championships and today he made the double in the road race.


The race was held on two very hard circuits around Lillehammer. First the riders did five laps of a 21km circuit and then they did three laps of a 26km circuit for a total distance of 183km. The final circuit included a 3km climb that averaged 9% and the final kilometre was also uphill.


The early part of the race was dominated by a five rider breakaway with Håvard Blikra (Coop-Øster Hus), Adrian Gjølberg (Team, Reidar Borgersen (Team Joker), Fridtjof Røinås (Sparebanken Sør) and Marius Sylta (Bergen CK) but the local Lillehammer team brought them back after 50km of racing. This opened the door for a very aggressive and hard race with lots of attacks.


Odd Christian Eiking, Truls Engen Korsæth, Vegard Stake Laengen, Anders Skaarseth (Team Joker), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky), Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka), Vegard Breen (Lotto Soudal), Sven Erik Bystrøm (Katusha), Sondre Holst Enger (IAM) and Carl Fredrik Hagen (Sparebanken Sør) emerged from the carnage while Fredrik Strand Galta (Coop-Øster Hus), Kristoffer Skjerping (Cannondale-Garmin), Bjørn Tore Hoem, Sindre Lunke (begge Team Joker), Alexander Kristoff (Katjusja), Øivind Lukkedal (Ringeriks-Kraft) and Andreas Vangstad (Sparebanken Sør) found themselves in a second group. At the start of the first lap of the second group, the gap was 45 seconds and the second group would never make it back to the front group who gradually increased their advantage.


The second group was caught by the peloton which was more than 2 minutes behind at the start of the second lap. During the next passage of the climb, Laengen attacked and he managed to get clear while Nordhaug, Korsæth and Breen formed a chase group. However, they were 50 seconds behind with 35km to go and moments later they were joined by Bystrøm, Boasson Hagen, Skaarseth and Eiking


Breen and Korsæth attacked before the penultimate passage of the line and were joined by Nordhaug. They gradually got closer to the lone leader and as they hit the climb, Nordhaug went full gas.


Breen was the first to get dropped and later Korsæth also had to surrender. Before they got to the top, the Sky rider had made the junction while Eiking attacked from the chase group from which only Boasson Hagen could follow.


Skaarseth rejoined those two riders who caught Breen  and later Bystrøm also rejoined that group. On the descent Korsæth rejoined Nordhaug and Laengen and those three riders had a 50-second advantage with 10km to go.


From there, it was a fierce pursuit and the gap was only coming down slowly. With 1km to go, it was still 15 seconds and this forced Boasson Hagen to go full gas.


Only Eiking could keep up with him as they started to get closer to the leaders. Meanwhile, Nordhuag launched a big attack but was unable to get rid of Laengen. However, both riders were passed by Boasson Hagen and Eiking just metres from the line and it was the former that would take the win ahead of the two Joker riders Eiking and Stake Laengen.


Boasson Hagen will wear his jersey at the Tour de France and will get his first chance to show the colours on home soil at the Arctic Race of Norway in August.



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