A drop down to the Pro Continental level seemed to be exactly what Edvald Boasson Hagen needed to find his mojo after a frustrating final season with Team Sky.

Joining MTN-Qhubeka saw less pressure placed on the Norwegian's shoulders in the big races – MTN were invited to a good deal of WorldTour events – and saw him finish a career high 10th at Milan-San Remo.

Boasson Hagen's purple patch of form in 2015 began at the Tour of Norway in May and stretched all the way to the Tour of Britain in September, collecting 29 top-10 finishes in that time.

He finished second in the Critérium du Dauphiné's points competition – teammate Daniel Teklehaimanot won the mountains classification – thanks to three top-10 finishes and then won both the Norwegian National Championships time trial and road race.

At the Tour de France he was always there or thereabout in the sprint finishes, collecting a fourth-place on the Champs-Elysees and three more fifth-place finishes over the three weeks.

Perhaps his most memorable performances of the year, though, came at the Tour of Britain, where he took his second overall victory with some attacking riding.

Having taken the lead on Hartside Fell, Boasson Hagen ensured he clung onto it with aggressive racing on the final three stages.

With Dimension Data in the WorldTour in 2016, the 28-year-old will be looking to continue his run of form in the big races and cobbled Classics next spring.

Edvald Boasson Hagen takes the race lead after stage five of the 2015 Tour of Britain

Devoid of teammates, and 20 riders all trying to dispose him of the yellow jersey he held by the slenderest margin of one second, Edvald Boasson Hagen beat and then…