Boasson Hagen wins as Sky come of age on Tour
Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen claimed his maiden Tour de France win when he powered to victory on Thursday...
Boasson Hagen claimed his maiden Tour de France win when he powered to
victory on Thursday as Team Sky blossomed on the big stage.
Boasson Hagen benefited from
good work by in-form team mate Geraint Thomas to outsprint Australian
Matt Goss at the end of the sixth stage, a 226.5-km effort from Dinan,
giving Team Sky their first Tour win.
in 2010 with big money and high ambitions, Sky were brought back to
earth in last year's Tour as they failed to win a stage and with Bradley
Wiggins having to settle for 24th overall.
now have a stage win, while Wiggins came to the Tour after victory in
the Criterium du Dauphine and Welsh prodigy Thomas is wearing the white
jersey for the best young rider.
team bus nearly turned over we were jumping up and down and shouting so
much," Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford told reporters after Boasson
criticised for my ambition and for saying that I believed we could come
here and win stages. But I honestly believed it and the proof will be in
"It's a huge moment
for the team and its development. We're not even a year-and-a-half old
and we've won a stage in the Tour de France so from our point of view
Sports director Sean Yates said the win took some pressure off and he hoped there was more to come.
not the icing on the cake. It's the under layer. We now hope to perform
well for GC (general classification)," he told Reuters.
also praised Thomas's performance, saying: "He is the undisputed
lead-out man in the peloton. You ask him to be somewhere and he is
Brailsford added that it was exciting for British cycling.
"It doesn't matter how good your planning or your set-up is, it's all about momentum, energy and confidence," he said.
perfect for Brad. It takes the pressure off the team and we can now
focus on getting down to the mountains unscathed and plotting the GC
softly spoken Boasson Hagen, whose career has been hampered by
injuries, was just too strong for the rest of the field on Thursday,
winning by a bike's length to raise his arms in celebration.
Norwegian Thor Hushovd retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after coming third.
champion Alberto Contador, who changed bikes twice with some 30
kilometres left, was spotted a few yards ahead of the pack in the short
but demanding climb in the closing stages.
His legs probably stiff from a day in the rain, the Spaniard was reeled in and said he did not try to attack his rivals.
was not well placed in the bunch and I was trying to get back to the
front. I found myself in front of the group but it was not my intention
to attack," he said.
"But I feel like the legs are doing good."
the favourites made it to the line in the same time as the day's winner
except American Levi Leipheimer, who crashed with five kilometres to go
as he slipped on a white line on the road side.
Radioshack rider crossed the line over a minute behind Hushovd in
another bad day for the American outfit, who lost the services of
Slovenian Janez Brajkovic on Wednesday following a crash.
Mark Cavendish, who was gunning for a 17th Tour stage victory, took
sixth place in the intermediate sprint behind the breakaway riders to
stay in contention for the green jersey.
Manxman could not sustain the pace in the ascent as the peloton rode in
driving rain and through occasional hailstorms from Brittany to