Boasson Hagen in red, white & blue

Cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen makes history, earning the Norwegian champion jersey

Photo: cas_ks / Wikimedia Commons  Edvald Boasson Hagen at the 2013 Tour Down Under—also wearing the Norwegian champion jersey after his 2012 win.

Photo: cas_ks / Wikimedia Commons
Edvald Boasson Hagen at the 2013 Tour Down Under—also wearing the Norwegian champion jersey after his 2012 win.

Molly Jones
Norwegian American Weekly

It’s comeback time for Edvald Boasson Hagen: the 28-year-old Norwegian cyclist has returned to the top, following a rough 2014 season without any stage victories.

At the end of May, the MTN-Qhubeka cyclist finished second overall in the Tour of Norway and then secured the stage five victory in the Tour des Fjords for his first win in almost two years.

On June 25, Boasson Hagen continued to make history when he won the Norwegian National Time Trial Championships in Brumunddal for the seventh time, becoming the only cyclist to ever hold seven titles in this event. Keeping an average speed of 46 km/h, Boasson Hagen managed to finish the 49-kilometer race in 1:01.30 with a 2:16 lead over Andreas Vangstad (Sparebanken Sør) in second.

“It was surprising that I won by two minutes, but in the time trial race you just have to work by yourself and focus on yourself, so that’s what I did the whole day,” said Boasson Hagen to TV 2.

Following his victory in the time trial, Boasson Hagen’s next goal was to win the mass-start National Road Race Championships in Lillehammer, but he wasn’t overly confident in his chances.

And with just three kilometers to go in the June 28 race, it didn’t look good; he trailed the leading trio of Lars Petter Nordhaug, Vegard Stake Laengen, and Truls Engen Korsæth. But Boasson Hagen executed a kilometer-long sprint and pulled ahead of the leaders before the finish line for his second gold in the road race championships. Odd Christian Eiking took the silver, and bronze went to Vegard Stake Laengen, both of Team Joker.

“It was obviously a very good day and a close finish, but yeah, I was so happy to win. It was a tough race though, lots of attacking all day over a very tough course,” commented Boasson Hagen.

When Aftenposten asked how he would compare this performance to his peak two or three years ago, he responded: “I have had a cold all week, so it’s not so easy to compare. But regardless, I am not so far away from where I was then.”

With this comeback win, Boasson Hagen has earned the right to wear the Norwegian champion jersey—featuring a large Norwegian flag—for all of his races throughout the next year, starting with the Tour de France.

“It is awesome. I hadn’t believed it myself right before the finish, but it will be huge to go to Tour de France with the Norwegian champion jersey,” he said to TV 2.

Boasson Hagen admits that the Tour de France is a big step up from the national championships, but he looks forward to the prestigious race, which began on July 4 and continues through July 26. While wearing Norway’s flag, he will also represen his team, MTN-Qhubeka, the first-ever African team to participate in Tour de France.

The former king of Norwegian cycling, Thor Hushovd, thinks Boasson Hagen has a good chance to pick up another 2015 victory in the Tour de France. “He has been in great shape lately. I think we need to watch out for Edvald. I predict he will be a stage winner,” he said to NRK.

To keep tabs on Boasson Hagen’s performance in the Tour de France, just look for the red, white, and blue of the Norwegian flag!

This article originally appeared in the July 10, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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