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The Boss breaks through

Perseverance really does pay off: After being edged at the line twice already and twice finishing third, Team Dimension Data’s Edvald Boasson Hagen won Stage 19 of the 2017 Tour de France.

This time, there was no photo finish for Boasson Hagen on his Team Edition Cervélo S5.

The Boss’s fifth trip to the Tour podium came after he broke away solo with 2km to go in the undulating 222.5km stage from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence. After jumping into the lead by taking the best line around a roundabout, he showed his time-trial prowess by opening up a five-second gap on the lone chaser and holding it until he crossed the line, arms held aloft and fingers spread in the salute that symbolizes the Qhubeka charity’s 2017 goal of putting 5,000 African children on bicycles through its #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.

"We finally did it! Such a fantastic feeling,” Boasson Hagen said. “I studied the route, so I knew exactly which line to take. I'm brilliantly pleased, and there's even another opportunity in Paris (on Sunday).”

Leave it to DiData teammate Mark Cavendish, who was forced to withdraw due to a broken shoulder suffered on Stage 4, to sum up the excitement surrounding the victory: “Yesssssssssss!!!!!! Edvald!!!!!! Finally!! I'm in tears,” he tweeted seconds after the win. “You absolute hero! So so happy for you & @TeamDiData.”

Boasson Hagen’s inaugural Tour win with DiData, and first since 2011, moved him into third place in the Points classification. A strong ride from Serge Pauwels on his Cervélo R5, meanwhile, moved him into 10th place in the KOM classification and 20th in the GC.