Lars Boom cruises to third edition of Tom Boonen’s charity cyclocross
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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Lars Boom cruises to third edition of Tom Boonen’s charity cyclocross

by Ben Atkins at 2:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
A minute’s head start can’t save the road riders from the former World cyclocross champion

lars boomLars Boom (Rabobank) has unsurprisingly won the third edition of the ‘Tom Boonen and Friends’ cyclocross at Zilvermeer, Mol, to the south of Antwerp, Belgium. The race, which raises money for the charity Move to Improve – a charity for children with motor problems – is an invitation event for road riders.

Since the event is primarily for fun and to raise money, Boom was invited, despite being a former World champion, and reigning Dutch champion at cyclocross – although he has almost entirely switched to racing on the road. As a concession to his prowess in the winter sport though, the Dutchman was forced to start a minute behind the rest of the field; unsurprisingly, he won the race anyway.

“One minute was enough to make it a more difficult task than expected,” said Boom, according to Het Laatste Nieuws, denying that it was an easy victory.

“It was nothing less than I expected,” he continued. “I was training in the woods in my neighbourhood with [Rabobank teammate, and 2009 event winner] Marten Wynants, so I knew he would be my toughest opponent.”

In the event it was indeed Wynants that came closest to Boom at the finish but, even with the minute head start, he was unable to compete with the rider that won the Heusden-Zolder World Cup race last year.

Third place went to 20-year-old Sean De Bie, despite a spectacular crash from the Belgian in the course’s long sandy section.

Boonen, who himself finished fifteenth in what was his first competitive outing since breaking his wrist in the Vuelta a España, declared the race another success.

"This is the least we can do for these kids," said the former World champion. "Overall it's a been a beautiful day. The sky remained clear and, not just because of the weather, but also we’ve had the biggest interest of the three editions.

“Thanks to the many loyal workers who help make this possible,” he added. If we have a good auction tonight with a pretty good return, it’s all good and we have an incentive to continue.”

In the support event for former professionals, recently three-time World cyclocross champion Ervin Vervecken was the unsurprising victor for the second straight year. The 39—year-old beat Koen Beeckman and Marc Janssens in to second and third, at the head of a field that included riders like Classics legend Johan Museeuw.

Result Tom Boonen and Friends cyclocross
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
2. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank
3. Sean De Bie (Bel)
4. Thomas Vernaeckt (Bel) Verandas Willems-Accent
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step
6. André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
7. Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank
8. Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quick Step
9. Pieter Vanspeybroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaandern-Mercator
10. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
11. Dennis Vanendert (Bel)
12. Wim De Vocht (Bel) Verandas Willems-Accent
13. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quick Step
14. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick Step
15. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step

Result ex-champions race
1. Erwin Vervecken (Bel)
2. Koen Beeckman (Bel)
3. Marc Janssens (Bel)
4. Jan Boven (Ned)
5. Ken De Dijcker (Bel)
6. Johan Museeuw (Bel)

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