Team Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen will come away with the win in the final stage of the Tour of Qatar, as team senior sports director Scott Sunderland believes. If Sunderland proves to be correct, the Norwegian star will then net his first season victory for 2010.
Hagen finished in third place in the fifth stage of the Qatar tour. Tom Boonen of Team Quick Step and Danilo Napolitano of Team Katusha got the first and second spots, respectively. Sunderland explained that Hagen’s third-place finish was a result of being “hemmed in” by the two other riders, thereby denying their rider to go out and grab the win.
Team Sky had to work hard to pull back the breakaways in the race and put Hagen in a position to win, and Sunderland credits them for their effort. “They did the job they had to do and Edvald almost had the legs to pull it off, so it was a fantastic effort.”
The final stage of the 2010 Tour of Qatar will start at Doha Corniche today. Bunch sprints are expected by the teams and the fans, with perhaps some early breakaways to try and get into the front. The current race leader, Wouter Mol of the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, is already being conceded as the overall winner of the event, but Boonen and the other sprinters will nevertheless go ahead and try to notch a stage win at least.
Sunderland says that Hagen can pull off the win today, and adds that the team will be doing their best to help their rider get it. “Everybody is going to be up there for sure – we’ll be giving it full gas and the riders are very motivated to go out there and show their colours again.”