Edvald Boasson Hagen put on an incredible display of power during the 3rd stage of the Tour of Qatar, to win the 11km time trial by 25″ from Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing) rounded out the poium in 3rd place.
It was always known that the time trial stage of the Tour of Qatar would be pretty critical in the race for the overall general classification. Boasson Hagen was our main man for the day, as our rider with the best chance of achieving a top result. Van Emden, who had finished around 30 minutes before our Norwegian champion started, had the fastest time in the finish house.
Boasson Hagen knew he had to try and stay above a 50km/h average over the windy and dusty course in Lusail to take the stage lead, and hopefully it would also be enough to move into the overall race lead as well. After being 11 seconds faster than Van Emden at the the half way mark, Boasson Hagen really turned up the heat over the second part of the course to come home with a new fastest time of 13’26”.
Nobody would come close to Boasson Hagen’s time, the stage and overall race lead would go to our Norwegian star. Sweetening the deal even further for our African Team was another strong performance by Mark Cavendish. Having spent a majority of his winter training on the track in his bid for an Olympic spot, the Manxman powered himself to 7th place on the stage. These results saw Cavendish slot into 2nd place behind Boasson Hagen on GC and while he gives up the gold leaders jersey to his teammate, he will now wear the silver points jersey as leader of that competition tomorrow.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
It went pretty well today, I have been feeling quite strong since earlier in the week so I had a go to try and take the victory today. I am feeling strong but also I suffered in the wind. I am just happy that it was enough to take the jersey which we will do our best to keep.
Roger Hammond – Sport Director
Today was a crucial day for the team in Qatar so for Edvald to deliver such an impressive display was all the more enjoyable to watch. It was a performance I will remember for a long time. We knew he was in good shape when he came here and today’s time trial has proved that. There is a lot of racing still to go here but we are looking forward to the challenge.