Edvald Boasson Hagen celebrated his 22nd birthday two days early on Friday, winning the Giro d'Italia stage to Chiavenna with another showing of his immense talent.
If you followed the 2008 Tour of Britain, you may remember how Boasson Hagen won three stages, leaving current Giro d?Italia race leader Danilo Di Luca punch drunk and out of the Italian world championships team with three long sprints.
?He beat me three times out of three in Britain, so I know how good he is,? Di Luca said.
?I was sure he?d win when I heard he?d got away. He would have won yesterday in Mayrhofen if eventual winner Michele Scarponi had not been away. He?s very strong and has an explosive 500 metre sprint. He?s going to win a lot in his career.?
Despite winning Ghent-Wevelgem in April, Boasson Hagen is still pretty modest about his talents and does not know if he will develop into a classics or stage race rider. In truth he could perhaps do both.
?This is my first grand Tour so I want to get through it and see how I do. But I also like the classics. In a while I?ll see if I?m a classics rider or a stage race rider. We?ll see in the future.?
?Winning Ghent-Wevelgem and winning here in Italy are both very important and you can?t really compare them. I?m just really happy to be winning.?
He revealed he went on the attack happened almost by chance, after helping Michael Rogers get back on after a puncture.
?I was quite far behind in the descent when Rogers flatted, so I tried to move up to group again then Valerio sad to go on front to catch the attacker. I went through peloton, kept going and got a gap. We rode well together in front and the peloton stopped a bit. That really helped and then in the sprint I felt good and I won.?
Asked a possible internal rivalry at Team Columbia with Mark Cavendish, Boasson Hagen said: ?He?s the fastest sprinter in the world and my job is to help him. I can?t beat him and don?t want to be beat him. When I get my own chances I take them. He?s a good guy and good sprinter, it?s actually nice to help him.?
The truth is that Team Columbia has the fastest sprinter in the world for bunch sprints and one of the biggest talents in the sport for tougher stages and uphill finishes.
|Giro d'Italia 2009 links|
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages
Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink
Giro news round-up: 14 May
Wiggins: 'I can't keep smashing away on the climbs'
Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
Armstrong after Giro stage 5: 'That was hard'
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong's team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn't know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I've been working out how to beat Cav
I'm wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly's Giro d'Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong's special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d'Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he's riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d'Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d'Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey
2009 Giro d'Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d'Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW's Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d'Italia
2008 Giro d'Italia archive
Giro d'Italia 2008 coverage index - race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year's race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what's in store?
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d'Italia 2008 preview
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
UAE Tour Women 2023: Start list and how to watch
Discover the full start list of this year's UAE Tour Women
By Cycling Weekly • Published
Colnago C68 bike review - tradition and technology in perfect proportions
The latest model-C Colnago is still made in Italy and still has lugs, but it is a thoroughly 21st-century superbike
By Simon Smythe • Published