Boasson Hagen bosses rivals
Edvald Boasson Hagen continued his remarkable run of form with victory in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Germany.
By Jonathan Turner
Last Updated: 25/08/11 10:40am
Edvald Boasson Hagen continued his remarkable run of form with victory in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg.
A superb team performance had seen the bulk of Team Sky's squad get themselves in the leading group of around 35 riders when the peloton split in two in the closing stages of the 216.5 kilometres WorldTour event.
Among the big names distanced were the likes of world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and home favourite André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) but there was still plenty of work to be done by Team Sky and they made no mistake.
The likes of Juan Antonio Flecha, Peter Kennaugh and Christian Knees first played their part and it was then Geraint Thomas who again delivered Boasson Hagen in perfect style.
The Norwegian hit the front with 250 metres remaining and held all his remaining rivals at bay, with Gerald Ciolek (Quick-Step) and Borut Božic (Vacansoleil) taking second and third respectively.
It was Boasson Hagen's latest success, the last couple of months having featured his first two stage victories at the Tour de France followed by a clean sweep of the jerseys at the week-long Eneco Tour.
Huge crowds in Hamburg watched a race which had earlier followed a predictable pattern as a group of four riders - Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Pavel Brutt (Katusha) and Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil) - escaped the main peloton.
They were never given too much leeway as the parcours took in a series of short, sharp climbs and it was all back together with 25km remaining.
But the decisive moment came going up the Waseberg climb for the last time which splintered the field and saw the front bunch of riders take control of the final phase of the race.
It all left Team Sky's Sports Director Servais Knaven understandably delighted and he said: "It was perfect again. This group have been riding together in many races this season, they know each other so well know and they do everything for each other.
"You need good riders which we've got and if they all work together as well as that then you get performances like this. They are riding strong, they keep on winning and it's great to see. It was another brilliant day."
Knaven was quick to praise Kennaugh for helping maintain the gap between the two groups once the peloton split, explaining: "Everyone did a great job and Pete was riding a lot in the closing stages to make sure the front group stayed out ahead as there were some very good sprinters 15 to 20 seconds back.
"Then we saw Flecha and Christian were really strong at the finish and of course G and Edvald then took over."
The team were heading to the airport for flights home just as Chris Sutton was making it an even more memorable day for Team Sky by taking stage two of the Vuelta a Espana and Knaven added: "The whole squad seems to have taken a big step; from around Bayern [which was won by Geraint Thomas] it was followed by the Dauphiné, the Tour de France, Eneco and then today both here and at the Vuelta where CJ's win was pretty special."