Boasson Hagen set for La Primavera
Edvald Boasson Hagen is ready to push for his best result at Milan-San Remo as the Classics recommence on Sunday.
Last Updated: 17/03/13 5:49pm
Edvald Boasson Hagen is ready to push for his best ever result at Milan-San Remo as the Classics recommence on Sunday.
The Norwegian has completed the great race four times, three of which in Team Sky colours, in what is traditionally one of the toughest tests of the season.
Fresh from a block of altitude training in Tenerife, Boasson Hagen is keen to improve on the 25th place he achieved in last year's race after spending the day in the lead group before being distanced in the closing stages.
In three years the mythical event has not been kind to Team Sky, yet with the Classics group in their best condition to date following a new focus on the spring one-day races, Boasson Hagen is hopeful he and the team can be in the mix at La Primavera.
“I haven’t really done many races so far this season but I’m happy with my form,” said the 25-year-old ahead of the first Monument of the season.
“I’m 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’ve been doing a lot of good training and the focus has been on the Classics.”
In terms of his Classics wish list, the longest race of the season ranks right up there in the Norwegian’s mind. “It comes pretty high. Roubaix is first, then Flanders and then San Remo,” he confirmed.
The 2012 edition was a bittersweet one for Boasson Hagen, who made the decisive split but without team-mates to rally around him, slipped back over the top of the famous Poggio climb.
“Last year I went quite well,” he remembers. “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’ve done so hopefully I can be even stronger this year. I want to be in the first group over the last climb.”
Understanding the route and the intricacies of the climbs is a key element to any riders’ success. From the Passo del Turchino to Le Manie, the Cipressa and Poggio, Boasson Hagen is familiar with the terrain he will face, but explains the real battle is having the legs in a race that weighs in at 298 kilometres.
“I’ve done the race four times now and I’ve seen the climbs on a lot of videos. I’ve always done recons of the climbs so I’m familiar with them.
“You do 200km before the first climb, and 250 or so before the next one, so it’s the length before the climbs that makes them hard - and also the speed. They are not really steep but everything you’ve been through before you get to them makes it tough.”
While racing for nigh on 300 kilometres might not be many people’s idea of fun, Boasson Hagen maintains that the length, along with the history, is what creates the prestige of the event.
“It’s the longest race of the year, it’s one of the Classics and it’s been around in cycling for such a long time. It’s a huge race and it would be great to win it.”
Join us on Sunday 17 March as TeamSky.com will be running a live interactive webchat during Milan-San Remo from 1200 noon UK time.