It was a Nrowegian day in Italy: sheets of rain, snow on the hills, blustery wind and chilling temperatures.
The Italian and Spanish riders shake their heads and try to stay upright. They huddle in the peleton grumbling about riding 224 kilomters in the rain. But it was perfect conditions for a Norwegian rider named Edvald Boasson Hagen to assert himself. The winner of Gent-Wevelgem, just 21 years old, sprinted past Barloword’s Robbie Hunter to take stage 7 for Team Columbia-Highroad.
After bringing his team-mate Mick Rodgers to the front after a flat tire, Hagen was free to take his chances. So he just kept going, no doubt humming the melody to the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood. With surprising confidence, he bested four outher riders, two of them sprinters, and made it look easy. Then it was off for a hot shower, warm towels and steaming cup of recovery carbo-tea. No doubt Hagen will hope for more Norwegian weather to blow into Italy soon. At least before the Giro ends.