After five seasons at Team Sky, Edvald Boasson Hagen has now begun a new chapter at team MTN-Qhubeka. The Norwegian has changed his training regime as well as changing teams, and put on weight under the guidance of his former trainer as he aims for the 2015 Spring Classics.
When asked how many kilograms he has put on, the quiet 27 year old said: “Quite a lot. A few. Hopefully it’s more power. We’ll see. I’m not a climber anyway. I’ve tried to be more skinny and it doesn’t really work. Now, I’ll try to have more muscles.”
Boasson Hagen shot to the top immediately with team Columbia-HTC winning the 2009 Ghent-Wevelgem, a Giro d’Italia stage and the Eneco Tour. With Sky, he won two stages in the 2011 Tour de France – the team’s first in the race before Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome came along to win the overall.
During that peak, there was talk that Boasson Hagen could even develop into a Grand Tour rider. Soon, though, he won less and in last year did not enjoy a single victory.
Boasson Hagen has now changed a few things, starting with his team. He signed for South Africa’s Professional Continental team, MTN-Qhubeka, which already received the green light to race the 2015 Tour de France. Next, he returned to former trainer and mentor, Norwegian Fredrik Mohn.
Sky asked in 2012 that he only work with its coaching staff as it requested of its other cyclists.
“After five years, it’s good to try something new, a new team. I was really happy where I was, but now it’s really nice with good team-mates and good staff,” he said.
“I haven’t been focusing much on my weight, just working to get more strength and muscles, and I’m a bit heavier. I worked on my core and my legs, but I put on more everywhere. I know it [the exact kilogrammes], but it doesn’t really matter.”
Mohn had his client lifting weights in the gym, spinning on his turbo trainer and skiing in the Norwegian countryside.
“I think that’s working well for me,” Boasson Hagen continued. “It’s still early, but so far it feels good.”
He said that he is aiming at the classics and the Tour. MTN will be Africa’s first team in the French stage race and Boasson Hagen, as he did with Sky, wants to help the team to its first win.
“Just to win races again,” he explained. “Last year I didn’t win races, but this year I want to be back and win races.”