Edvald Boassan Hagen has made Paris-Roubaix his main aim for the season, and though he admits it is a ‘lofty goal,’ he says it could be the defining victory of his career.
The Norweigian left Team Sky at the end of 2014 to join African outfit MTN-Qhubeka in order to gain further leadership opportunities, and will now proceed with a full classics campaign as well as looking ahead to the Tour de France in July.
Winning is a great goal, but it must be so, because no-one remembers second or third. I would also be happy with a top 10, but my goal is to win in Roubaix and get a big win in my career.”
Boasson Hagen’s first one-day race will be at the semi-classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, before moving on to Milan-San Remo, which was won by the 27-year-old’s teammate Gerald Ciolek in 2013. Competition for places at MTN has become greater since a number of high-profile sprint signings in the off-season, including Matt Gos, Tyler Farrar and Theo Boss, but Boasson Hagen believes there will be enough space for everyone to get their chance during the season.
“I want to have a good overall performance in all the classics, from San Remo to Roubaix,” he said. “They are all events that are followed and it is important for me and the team to do well.
“I do not think it’s a problem [having so many sprinters], it’s about working well together and winning races. That is the main objective. I’m sure there are opportunities for everyone.