Edvald Boasson Hagen will announce Wednesday where he will next compete as a pro rider, but according to VG.no it will not be an anticipated move to Tinkoff Saxo.
The 27 year old rider has been with Team Sky for the past five seasons. He is generally regarded as having stagnated there, with his rapid early progression stalling. In recent weeks he made clear that he would leave the team, and speculation mounted that he would sign with a squad with strong Scandinavian links, Tinkoff Saxo.
The possibility of that appeared to flounder when Oleg Tinkov, the Russian team owner, seemed to be critical of the rider in a series of tweets. “Although I adore Norwegian music, I don’t like some of the Norwegian “pro”-cyclists – they are messy and behave like girls. Shame,” he stated.
“Not sure if ahilles [sic] inflammation, luck of professionalism or bio passport data, what cause the person behave such unprofessional, image gone.”
Boasson Hagen has suffered from Achilles tendon problems during his time with Sky, and so the rant appeared to be directed at him.
Asked directly by one Twitter user if he was referring to Boasson Hagen, Tinkov’s answer confirmed that he was.
However, despite that, media reports stated that the team was still interested in the rider and hoped to finalise a deal.
Tuesday’s article by VG.no stated that Boasson Hagen has agreed a two year contract with a different squad, and that the details would be confirmed at a press conference in Oslo on Wednesday afternoon.
It said that the rider and his manager Birger Hungerholdt would both be present.
Hungerholdt didn’t give away the identity of the team, but he said that the rider market had been complicated by the disappearance of some teams, the merger of others and the confusion about whether or not the Alonso team will exist.
On Wednesday the next phase of Boasson Hagen’s career will be made clear, and with it the rider will hope to get his previous momentum back on track.