Edvald Boasson Hagen wins Tour of Norway as Team Sky fend off late attacks
Last Updated: 19/05/13 6:03pm
Edvald Boasson Hagen: Doubled up with his second success in Norway
Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen made no mistake on the final stage at the Tour of Norway to ride to a second consecutive victory.
The Norwegian was shepherded home with the full support of his team-mates in the race's finale around Honefoss as late attacks fired off the front.
Things came back together for the day to end in a sprint and it was Alexander Kristoff who claimed his third stage win of the race, Boasson Hagen coming home third behind young star Sondre Holst Enger (Team Plussbank).
Boasson Hagen's success mirrored that of 12 months earlier with a stage win on home ground in Lillehammer laying the foundations for overall success and also the capture of the points jersey.
Sergio Paulinho (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) joined Boasson Hagen in a late escape on Saturday and held on to finish the race in second, 31 seconds back on the yellow jersey while Enger's final burst of speed elevated him to third overall, a further 14 back.
After climbing off the bike a happy Boasson Hagen said: "It's really nice to take the win. The team did an amazing job to control things the whole day and keep everything under control. It's really nice to have such a strong team and to finish off in the yellow jersey was the goal.
"Alex (Kristoff) is really strong and he did a good sprint. I'm happy to have the yellow jersey. I was a little bit blocked at the end but he was too strong.
"I feel good. I came to win again this year and I managed that. It's great to be here in Honefoss and to have won the Glava Tour again."
A sizeable group of six riders headed up the road early on a difficult final-day parcours - Danail Petrov (Caja Rural), Bjorn Tore Hoem (Team PlussBank), Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco Cycling), Adrian Palomares (De Rijke), Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha) and Remi Pauriol (Sojasun) making up the move.
Team Sky kept the break on a short leash with Bernhard Eisel marshalling things as Thomas Degand (Accent Jobs) and Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Beloise) headed off to link up with the escapees on the four laps around Honefoss.
Team Saxo-Tinkoff hit the front on the final loop in a bid to set things up for Paulinho but Team Sky resumed control on the climb around the back of the course. The steep ramps saw the peloton split briefly but Boasson Hagen had Luke Rowe and Josh Edmondson for support before things came back together.
With 12km to go Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Blanco Cycling) hit out as the peloton split significantly once again, seventh-placed Jesper Hansen (Cult Energy) also jumping clear to create a dangerous move which was dragged back.
It was Edmondson who drove on into the final kilometre as the sprint took hold and Boasson Hagen kept it upright to clinch yellow.