Two-time Tour de France green jersey winner, Thor Hushovd, revealed he threatened to slap countryman Edvald Boasson Hagen if he decided to join Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015.
Former Team Sky rider, Boasson Hagen, reportedly turned down the chance to ride alongside Peter Sagan in favour of resurrecting his career at MTN-Qhubeka.
And Hushovd, who was crowned world champion in 2010, told Norway’s TV2 that Boasson Hagen would not have been a good fit in Oleg Tinkov’s squad.
“I said: Edvald, you shouldn’t sign for Tinkoff. I think it is the wrong choice. If you do, then I’ll give you a slap,” Hushovd revealed.
“With the image of Bjarne Riis and the team, in addition Peter Sagan had signed for them, Edvald wouldn’t evolve into the rider he was in his best years at Sky.”
Boasson Hagen’s apparent U-turn reportedly angered Tinkov, but Hushovd feels the step down to the UCI Pro Continental level will do the Norwegian good, citing his own career as an example.
“I probably should not have mixed in, but I only want the best for Edvald,” Hushovd continued. “He is a good guy, and I know from my own career that such choices are difficult.
“I told him about my history from the time of Cervelo, which like MTN Qhubeka was a small and unknown team. To go there was the best choice I’ve made in my career.”