Lars Boom edges closer to Eneco Tour lead as the race heads home
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lars Boom edges closer to Eneco Tour lead as the race heads home

by Ben Atkins at 3:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour
 
Defending champion just one second away from riding into his birthplace in the white jersey

lars boomLars Boom (Belkin) moved to within one second of the overall lead in the 2013 Eneco Tour, behind stage two winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr), after being part of the late winning move on stage three. The 27-year-old Dutchman, who is the defending champion in the seven-day Benelux race, spotted the break just in time, as German champion André Greipel eased up a little to allow Lotto-Belisol teammate Jürgen Roelandts pull away with Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida).

After Roelandts had exhausted himself by doing all of the work for most of the final kilometre, Boom was the first to launch a sprint for the line, but was over taken by Richeze and Štybar in turn, with Boom’s fellow former cyclocross World champion Štybar taking the victory.

“I attacked too early," Boom admitted. "I needed to sit in during the last metres, which was when they passed me. Anyway, if I had waited longer, they would have stayed in my wheel and it would have been difficult to win, as well.”

Unfortunately for Boom, Štybar picked up the maximum ten-second time bonus on the line, Richeze four seconds, and himself only four. This, added to the two-second gap between the three of them and the peloton, meant that he could only take back six of the seven seconds that he trailed Démare by, and still sits in second place overall.

Taking the white and red jersey would have been extra special for Boom, since tomorrow’s stage finishes in his hometown and birthplace, Vlijmen.

"It's a pity I didn't win because I would've been able to enter Vlijmen in the leader's jersey,” he said. “Nevertheless, it will be a special day, as a pro I have never ridden through Vlijmen.”

Despite the disappointment of not wearing the leader’s jersey at home [not until the stage is over, anyway - ed] Boom is playing the long game in this Eneco Tour, as he looks to retain his overall title.

With the race sure to be decided on the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Ronde van Vlaanderen style stages this weekend - finishing on the iconic climbs of La Redoute and the Muur van Geraardsbergen respectively - the Dutchman is right where he wants to be.

“I gathered some seconds again; that's really motivating when I think of Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “Although those stages have a totally different character. I may come up with another set of legs for those days.”

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