Tour of Algarve: Victory for Edvald Boasson Hagen

Edvald Boasson Hagen claimed Team Sky’s fourth victory of the 2012 season with a dominant sprint finish on stage two of the Volta ao Algarve to move into the race lead.

Boasson Hagen bided his time behind the Omega Pharma-Quickstep train in the final kilometre of the run from Faro to Lagoa before pouncing at the perfect time.

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He held off Vacansoleil-DCM rider Kris Boeckmans by half a bike-length, while Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) completed the top three. The result also puts Boasson Hagen into the yellow leader’s jersey, level on time with Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) but boasting better stage placings over the two days of racing so far.

The Norwegian seized the initiative on the tough drag to the line after ninth place on Wednesday’s stage one, while the rest of the team including Brits Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished safely to congratulate the 24-year-old.

Team Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen said: “I’m really happy and it’s always nice to get your first victory of the season. The team did a good job to keep me up front with 1k to go so I didn’t have to spend too much energy before that. Then it was just about staying on the wheel of the Quickstep train. It was quite easy to stay up there and wait until the last 200 metres and then I went.

“It was a goal for me to try and get a victory here. Yesterday I was a bit surprised how quickly we came to the line. I was a bit frustrated so it was really nice to get the win and the race lead.

“I’m not a super climber and I’m not sure if I can manage to stay in yellow but it’s more important to keep the GC guys up there. We’ll see what happens. I will try to stay in there as long as possible and hopefully I can help the guys.”

Team Sky Sports Director Sean Yates said:  “It was a great result for Edvald. It was nice to see him open his account this season. It was a similar situation to yesterday where he went in with no pressure. He wasn’t particularly happy with his result on stage one with his sprint but today was a bit more straightforward and he made amends.

“That puts him in the lead now which is good news. We’ve got a stage in the bag and tomorrow we can concentrate on the GC. Obviously we want to defend the jersey but now we’ve got another mission in getting the GC guys up there on the climb.”

Stage 2 – Faro to Lagoa, 187.5km
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Team Sky – (4:57:23)
2 Kris Boeckmans (BEL) Vacansoleil – (+0)
3 Gerald Ciolek (GER) Omega Pharma-Quickstep – (+0)

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Team Sky – (8:59:30)
2 Gianni Meersman (BEL) – Lotto-Belisol – (+0)
3 Kris Boeckmans (BEL) Vacansoleil – (+4)


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