Milan-San Remo: Edvald Boasson Hagen keen to be in first group over the Poggio
Last Updated: 17/03/13 10:48am
Edvald Boasson Hagen: Keen to make an impression at Milan-San Remo
Edvald Boasson Hagen is targeting being in the front group and in with a chance of victory when Milan-San Remo reaches its climax on Sunday.
The Team Sky rider goes into the first of the season's five Monuments in peak condition thanks to an intensive, Classics-specific training programme and he is keen to convert that into a strong performance.
He was held up on the race's concluding Poggio climb last year and had to settle for 25th as Simon Gerrans won a sprint to the line, but the Norwegian is confident of faring better this time around.
He told teamsky.com: "Last year I went quite well. I was in the group all the way to the last climb, but I was just on the limit to make it over.
"It was one of the better Milan-San Remos I have done, so hopefully I can be even stronger this year. I want to be in the first group over the last climb.
"It is the longest race of the year, it is one of the Classics and it has been around in cycling for such a long time. It is a huge race and it would be great to win it."
Older and wiser
The 298km marathon is once again expected to be a battle between sprinters looking to set up a bunch finish and one-day specialists keen to break clear of the pack on the Poggio, which arrives with 10km remaining.
Boasson Hagen will ride the race for the fifth time and feels his understanding of its demands are better than ever.
"I have done the race four times now and I have seen the climbs on a lot of videos," he explained. "I have always done recons of the climbs so I'm familiar with them.
"You do 200km before the first climb, and 250km or so before the next one, so it is the length before the climbs that makes them hard - and also the speed. They are not really steep, but everything you have been through before you get to them makes it tough."
Boasson Hagen goes into the race on the back of a quiet opening to the season, with his best individual result being third place on stage six of the Santos Tour Down Under.
However, Team Sky's high-altitude training camp has delivered the 25-year-old to Italy with both fitness and belief that his hard work will soon pay dividends.
"I haven't really done many races so far this season, but I am happy with my form," he added. "I am feeling better and better on the bike.
"I haven't had any big results to shout about yet this year, but hopefully they will come in the next few weeks. I have been doing a lot of good training and the focus has been on the Classics."