Edvald Boasson Hagen was sitting inside the Team Sky’s camper van eating a sandwich as he watched the final rides in Wednesday’s 49km individual time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
The Norwegian was more than happy to stop the clock third on the stage in his best result since an injury to his Achilles tendon sidelined since the spring classics.
“I am satisfied with my time. It’s the first time I go really hard in a long time,” Boasson Hagen told VeloNews. “It’s been a long time without racing because of my Achilles problems. It’s nice to be back, so hopefully everything will be OK.”
The highly touted Norwegian prospect is hoping to use the Dauphiné to hone his form and position himself for a spot on Team Sky’s Tour de France selection.
Boasson Hagen got a taste of big mountain climbs in last year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de Suisse.
“The big climbs aren’t for me. I just want to get to the finish. I am not going to go for anything more. I want to finish the race and see how it goes,” he said. “I am feeling OK. I am not at my best, because I haven’t done any hard races in a long time. I’ve been training nice and easy.”
Pain in his Achilles tendon forced him to forfeit the spring classics and he couldn’t defend his title at Ghent-Wevelgem.
Rather than bashing the cobblestones, he went home to Norway to recover. He took one week off the bike and worked closely with physical therapists. He returned to racing at the Bayern Rundfahrt two weeks ago in Germany.
“It was very painful. I don’t know what caused it, but hopefully it won’t come back,” he said. “I don’t get stressed that often. I am quite relaxed as a person, but it’s never nice to have an injury. I had some time at home and tried not to think about the injury. It was not worth to stress about it.”
The 23-year-old is still hopeful he’ll be racing in July in what would be his Tour debut.
“The team will decide who is going. The plan is to go. If I get fit and ready, then I hope get selected,” he said. “The plan is to get selected. If I don’t, I will change my plans.”
He will race the the Norwegian national championships later this month and then prepare for the world championships in Australia.