Another punishing day in the saddle saw the riders take on the 2011 Tour’s longest stage, the 226.5-kilometres from Dinan to Lisieux.
And Norwegian Boasson Hagen (right) accelerated off the wheel of team-mate Geraint Thomas to triumph ahead of HTC-Highroad’s Matt Goss and Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), who retained the race leader’s yellow jersey. “I felt really good today and I’m so please to win the sprint,” said a delighted Boasson Hagen. “Geraint Thomas did a great lead out and it’s just fantastic it’s all worked out. “It’s hard to describe the emotions, I’m just so happy. To get my first stage at the Tour de France is so special.”
Thomas, who played a key role in the victory, paid tribute to all the members of Team Sky after the win.
“It’s been a great start to the race for the team and we knew we could do something today,” he said. “I tried to deliver him as best I could and he finished it off perfectly. The whole team played their part, it was just a great all-round team effort.”