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by Neal Rogers
July 22, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Boasson Hagen solos from breakaway to win Stage 19 at Tour de France; Huffman, Rose win Cascade time trial as Mannion, Dragoo move into GC lead; Froome: Landa could challenge for Tour de France victory in 2018; Phil Anderson breaks collarbone, ribs in cycling accident; Gaviria injured training, suffers hematoma to calf muscle that requires surgery; Cannondale-Drapac announces new partnership with global media giant Oath; Garmin acquires cycling aerodynamics company Alphamantis Technologies; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 19 highlights.
After a pair of second-place stage finishes, including one decided by a photo finish, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) finally took a stage win at the 2017 Tour de France on Friday, holding off Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) and further behind, a frantically chasing breakaway which he distanced himself at 2.8km out to ride alone for the victory in Salon-de-Provence. Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) won the sprint from the remnants of the breakaway to take third.
The Norwegian praised his team’s early work on Stage 19. “I’m really happy, the team did really well before we got away in the break, they were controlling the group, then on the climb [Col Lebraut] the breakaway went away. We rode well together all day, and then in the final 2km I made an attack, and no one could follow. I’m so happy, I’ve been so close, so many times.”
The final ten kilometers emulated the flat run-in of a spring classic, with incessant attacks flying up both sides of the road. Heading into a roundabout at 2.8 kilometers from the line, Arndt abruptly cut to the right side of the traffic island on the lead-in. Boasson Hagen followed while the remaining eight stayed to the left side. Accelerating slightly through the roundabout, the two riders had a gap upon exiting. Boasson Hagen capitalized on their knowledge of the finish, and attacked; only Arndt could follow, though he would quickly be distanced.
“I could have waited for the sprint, but I was feeling quite good, and I felt I could win with one attack,” Boasson Hagen said. “I opened a big gap and was able to cross the line alone, I didn’t have to wait for a photo finish, I’m really happy for that.”