The next appointment on the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung race calendar is the Tour of Norway. Starting tomorrow, the Norwegian UCI 2.HC event will have riders compete over 5 road stages all ranging between 160 and 200 kilometers in length.
None of the stages could be considered to have any massive mountains to deal with but then none of the stages are particularly flat either. Numerous short hills of gradients around 7% will be the order for of most of the stages. With only 6 rider teams, all is poised for an open and exciting race over the next 5 days.
The Tour of Norway also marks the return to racing for Edvald Boasson Hagen. Eddy broke his collarbone at the Gent-Wevelgem earlier in the year and has since made a full recovery. Starting alongside Eddy after also being out of action with a broken bone is Jaco Venter. Jaco fractured his humerus at the Coppi e Bartali but is ready for action after 2 weeks of solid training.
The rest of our African team will be made up by Jay Thomson, Songezo Jim, Nic Dougall and Serge Pauwels. As always our boys will be looking to race from the front this week. and after having raced in Norway on a couple of occasions now, the boys will be motivated for what is one of the most scenic races on the calendar.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
My training has been going really well for the last few weeks and I look forward to getting back into racing. Starting again in my home country of Norway is just ideal as well so already I am very motivated.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
The Tour of Norway is the home race of Edvald and it is also the race in which he returns to racing after breaking his collarbone so he is looking forward to the race for both those reasons. It is not a super hard race but this makes the race more open and also there will be strong teams on the start line but only with 6 riders each instead of 8 as per usual. The whole team would like to perform well and support Edvald this week. We hope to make it an exciting race and get a good result in the week.