Sky’s Bradley Wiggins has anointed teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen as the future of cycling. A rider capable of winning just about any race he points his Pinarello at.
“On the list, you can include races like Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, stages in the Tour de France and everything else you want to win as a cyclist. It’s kind of scary,” said Wiggins. “He can still choose to go the way of the classics or multi-stage events, and potentially win all the races he decides. His talent is that great, but he’s still continuing to develop and find out where he best fits in the sport.”
Last season at the Tour of Qatar (or was it Oman?) teammates took to calling Boasson Hagen “Eddy Junior” after the one and only Cannibal, Eddy Merckx. Now Wiggins has also come to the same conclusion that the young Norwegian is the biggest star on the horizon.
He is “a rider who really represents cycling’s future,” Wiggins told Procycling. “Everything about him: his personality, work ethic, the way he does things and the knowledge that he is 100 percent pure.”
At the 2010 Tour de France Versus analyst Robbie Ventura kept picking Boasson Hagen to win several of the stages. Edvald never quite pulled it off but Ventura remains convinced that the Sky rider is a massive talent.
Our own limited exposure to Boasson Hagen was meeting his parents by astoundingly unlikely circumstances during the Tour de France. It’s one of our enduring memories — morning coffee with Versus’ James Raia at a tiny village hidden way up in the cols of Haute Provence. Chance of running into parents of top rider: below zero.
But there they were at the next table, Singe and her husband Odd-Erik, who proved to be charming, easy to talk with and happy to pose for a quick photo. Mom even jumped in Odd-Erik’s lap to make the picture more fun. Cool parents are no great indicator of athletic success but it sure doesn’t hurt. For a sweet little google translation of an Tour interview with them, check this one.
Singe said her son was a talented mountain bike rider from the age of eight. She would probably agree with Bradley Wiggins that he has the talent and drive to win the biggest races very soon.
P.S. the tall bald guy in the back right of the photo is journalist Anders Jepsen of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Anders saved my rear-end and gave me a ride when I was stranded without transportation for stage 1 of the Tour.