Blanco Pro Cycling takes self-appointed “underdog” status to Ronde van Vlaanderen
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blanco Pro Cycling takes self-appointed “underdog” status to Ronde van Vlaanderen

by Ben Atkins at 1:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
Lars Boom and Sep Vanmarcke to lead Dutch team but both have question marks

lars boomBlanco Pro Cycling directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven has proclaimed his team “underdogs” for Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, as he concedes that his Classics captains’ form is uncertain going into the race. The team will be led by former World cyclocross champion, and 2012 Eneco Tour winner, Lars Boom, and 2012 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Sep Vanmarcke, but both have had problems in recent weeks.

“We’ve not played a meaningful role in the races running up to Flanders, but are certainly in a position to pull off the upset,” Verhoeven said.

So far this season Boom (pictured) has taken victory in the opening time trial of the Tour Méditerranéen - his first race of the season - and a stage in the Tour du Haut Var; the Dutchman got sick in the week after the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but Verhoeven hopes that his rider is returning to form.

“Boom appeared his old self again in Gent-Wevelgem, but flatted at the deciding moment”, Verhoeven said, “That was frustrating and because of that, it’s not entirely certain how he stands in comparison to riders like Peter Sagan, for example.”

Vanmarcke was unable to defend his Omloop crown, but an injury picked up two weeks is what has put the question mark over the Belgian for Sunday’s race.

“Vanmarcke had a hard fall in the Tirreno-Adriatico and had some knee problems,” Verhoeven explained. “In the E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem the Belgian was back on his bike, but he couldn’t compete with the best. Sep has the kilometres, but was not fully racing. He has had no proper preparation and remains a bit of a question mark.”

Blanco Pro Cycling team for the Ronde van Vlaanderen
Lars Boom, Sep Vanmarcke, Maarten Wynants, Maarten Tjallingii, Rick Flens, Jos van Emden, Robert Wagner and Jetse Bol

Directeurs sportif
Nico Verhoeven and Jan Boven


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