Norway’s two top cyclists, Alexander Kristoff and Edvald Boasson Hagen, wound up at odds with one another this week after Kristoff blamed Hagen for all but ruining Kristoff’s chances for winning the World Championships in Qatar over the weekend. Kristoff accused Hagen of trying to win himself, instead of backing up Kristoff.
Hagen flatly denied that. “I did not try to cheat him (before the final sprint to the finish line),” Hagen told news bureau NTB. He ended up placing sixth and Kristoff seventh in the championship that was won for the second year in a row by Peter Sagan of Slovakia. Mark Cavendish of Great Britain was second and Tom Boonen from Belgium was third.
Kristoff was still angry and disappointed when he landed back in Norway on Monday, and it was unclear whether the two members of Norway’s national cycling team would be able to work together in the cycling world championships next year that are to be held in Bergen.
Kristoff said he felt betrayed by Hagen, while Hagen continued to fend off the accusation he rode more for himself than for the team effort. “We’re on the national team together, so we must cooperate,” Hagen told NTB. “We’ll see how our relationship goes.”