Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and the rest of the peloton had a hard day in the saddle on stage 3 of Tour of Norway. Edvald Boasson Hagen fought courageously but ultimately, the Norwegian champion had to let go of the yellow leader’s jersey. However, he’s still very close to the overall podium.
Friday’s stage of Tour of Norway was also the queen stage of the race. With 192 km to tackle and an uphill finish in Lillehammer, this was set to be the most crucial of the five stages.
After multiple attacks, a group of six riders finally managed to get a gap on the peloton. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka controlled the gap nicely and never allowed the break to get too far away. On the final, hilly laps, the front group started to break up and riders from the peloton joined the break. Ultimately, as the riders took on the final lap, a new group of six riders were left at the front, among them Boasson Hagen in the yellow jersey.
The riders kept attacking one after another and at the end, Pieter Weening (Roompot) got the better of his rivals as he soloed to victory on the uphill finish. Boasson Hagen lost a little ground on the final ascent and crossed the line 16 seconds down. He’s now fourth overall after the new race leader Weening. However, with only six seconds up to the podium and 12 seconds to Weening, nothing is settled before the race finishes on Sunday. Boasson Hagen is still leading the points classification.
Unfortunately, Team Dimension Date for Qhubeka lost Ben O’Connor as he crashed and had to abandon the race. Luckily, 21-year-old Australian escaped without any major injuries.
Edvald Boasson Hagen:
“The team rode well to defend the jersey. I’m really happy for what they did for me and sorry that I couldn’t keep the jersey. The climb was just too hard for me at the end. I managed to come back to the group but in the final, my legs were not there anymore. However, I will fight back”.