PARIS, France — In a stage where it was initially thought that the pure sprinters would line up to challenge for honours, Bora drove a fierce pace that splintered the peleton almost from the start, and then crosswinds played a decisive role in the latter stages and caused further splits.
Michael Gogl and Boasson Hagen were in the final group of around 40 riders that went to the line, with the Austrian leading out his Norwegian colleague in the exciting sprint for home.
Boasson Hagen looked like he might claim a fourth career stage victory but van Aert edged it on the line in yet another victory in what’s been a very impressive season so far the Belgian.
Edvald Boasson Hagen
I’ve watched it back briefly, and it was close on the line there and a real pity that I didn’t go all the way after a nice leadout from Gogl. But I’m happy with the teamwork at the front and have to appreciate a good result, but of course I would have liked to be further up.
It’s all about winning and of course I would like to be on the top of the podium in such big races as that’s what counts, but I have to be happy to with a second place and it give us something to work on so hopefully a first place will come.
I’ve had quite a few second places over the years but I can’t be too unhappy about it but I will keep on working and hopefully get a better result.
We want to win so badly and then being that close with Edvald – it’s such a pity. Gogl and Edvald did a fantastic job in the end, I think we can all see that, and it was very nice to see (for me too).
Strong work from Michael Gogl and then Edvald almost finished it off, you can’t get closer than that.
It was very close indeed, I think it had everyone on the edge of their seats, everyone back in South Africa and every NTT Pro Cycling fan. Eddy went out early and a fantastic job from Michael but Wout van Aert is a man on form and just getting past him at the end.
It absolutely ripped part from the beginning, there were sprinters all over the place and every sprinting team thought it could come back together at one point there were four or fine groups on road all of them going flat out. Eventually the sprinters succumbed realising that it wasn’t going to happen and the front group was left to sort themselves out and have some fun
I had my moments – ups and downs – today and this morning wasn’t too great but fortunately I did feel better on the bike so let’s keep fingers crossed that it continues to improve.