Some clever off-bike research paid off at this year’s Tour de France for Norwegian pro cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen. In the longest stage of the race –222 km / 138 miles–the 30-year-old broke his 6-year drought to finish first in the 19th stage, which ended in Salon-de-Provence in July. Boasson Hagen, known as “The Boss,” had taken second place in two stages that were so close, the winner could only be determined by photo finish.

Boasson Hagen says he did his homework by watching a video of the route the morning before the stage. He noticed that one side of the final roundabout was much shorter than the other. Boasson Hagen and one other rider sprinted ahead of the peloton (French for the main pack of riders), choosing the right side, while the mass of riders took the longer way around. There was no way for the larger mass of riders to compensate for this error in routing. This well-timed attack resulted in a much wider lead for the duo, and Eddy “the Boss” charged ahead for the win. A Norwegian cycling commentator went wild with excitement, knowing how hard Boasson Hagen had worked for this comeback.   

In a related story, the city of Stavanger is lobbying to host the grand départ (race begin) of the Tour de France in 2022. If things go according to plan, Norway would become the first Scandinavian country to host the first stages of the world-famous cycling race. The proposed tour would head from southwestern Norway to Oslo before transferring to French soil.


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