Boasson Hagen Wins Stage 7 of 2009 Giro d'Italia
A ferociously strong sprint from a break of five netted Team Columbia-Highroad’s Edvald Boasson Hagen the victory in stage seven of the 2009 Giro d’Italia. Riding his first ever major Tour, Boasson Hagen tore out of the break with 200 metres to go for an emphatic victory, several bike lengths clear of his rivals. Briefly the leader of the Best Young Rider’s competition, the Norwegian’s victory was Team Columbia-Highroad’s second Giro D’Italia stage win in less than a week. It also marks the 23rd victory for the men’s team this season. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) remains the overall leader of the Giro d'Italia 2009.
Already the winner of the Ghent-Wevelgem Classic this spring at the age of just 21, Boasson Hagen said afterwards, “Both victories, in Belgium and here in Italy, are very important and you can’t really compare them. I’m just really happy to be winning. I had great support from the team because I knew they were blocking behind when the break went clear. I didn’t start the final sprint too early, I tried waiting for as long as possible for the other guys to go. But I felt strong and it worked out well.”
Second in stage six and then first in Friday’s stage seven, Boasson Hagen said, “Today was a crazy finale, the same as yesterday. It was dangerous on that last descent in the rain. I was lucky that I didn’t crash. But in some ways it was easier than yesterday because there weren’t so many riders in the front group. This is my first three-week stage race so I want to get through it and see how I can do. At the same time, I don’t want to forget the Classics, either!”
"I think the sky’s the limit for this kid," added team sports director Allan Peiper. "He’s only in his second year as a professional and when he came to the team last year, we didn’t know what he could do and how much he could do. Last year we tried him out in the Ardennes Classics and this year on the cobbled Classics and in the Giro. Now he’s won Ghent-Wevelgem and a stage here in Italy."
"The 2009 Giro is his first major Tour and we've already seen that he can time trial, he can work for Cavendish, and today we’ve seen that he can descend and sprint for the win." Peiper recounted, "He even climbed well the other day in the Dolomites, helping [Michael] Rogers and [Thomas] Lovkvist. He’s done huge turns for Cavendish on the front. But that’s the way Team Columbia-Highroad functions. [Manager] Bob Stapleton reiterated it the other day in a meeting - it doesn’t matter if you’re a GC rider, a helper or a sprinter. Everybody watches out for and works for each other and for the good of the team."