Sky’s quiet rider, Edvald Boasson Hagen gave the team more to cheer about today, 24 hours after its success in Arenberg. ‘Eddy’ received his chance from the team and sprinted to third at the end of stage four in Reims.
“It was a very good job from the team to get me in the right position,” said the 23-year-old Norwegian. “It was good to get third – I’m really happy.”
Team Sky sent Juan Antonio Flecha and Geraint Thomas up to the front in the final kilometres of the flat stage to Reims to protect Boasson Hagen. He benefited from the work of Mark Cavendish’s team, HTC-Colombia, and tried his best to upset super sprinter, Italian Alessandro Petacchi.
He failed, Petacchi won the stage, but he finished ahead of 12-time stage winner Robbie McEwen (Katusha).
“It was just giving him a little opportunity to let him see what it was about,” added sports director, Rod Ellingworth. “For Edvald the whole experience is important, he’s excited about what he’s doing.”
Sprinter Thor Hushovd of team Cervélo usually entertains around 20 Norwegian journalists after each stage with a blow-by-blow recount of his day, but today, he had less. Some of them swarmed the Sky bus to speak to ‘Eddy’, winner of last year’s Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Britain.
“There is no pressure on him, he is not expected to win by the team. He has to help Brad [Wiggins], and that is what he is here to do,” Team Manager David Brailsford told the journalists.
“He is a young guy, there is a lot of weight and expectation on his shoulders. I think we still need to hold the horses, the victories will come to him in due time. He is a phenomenal talent, let’s just let him develop.”
Boasson Hagen (left) finished stage four in third behind Petacchi (right) and Dean (middle)
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
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Vande Velde abandons Tour following crash
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The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)
Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage
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Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires
Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims
Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC
Stage three live coverage: As it happened
Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa
Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters
Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win
Tour de France 2010: Race guide
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Official start list, with race numbers
Brits at the Tour 2010
Tout team guide
Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins