Boom and Hoogerland outline 2010 goals
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Boom and Hoogerland outline 2010 goals

by Nick Mulder at 1:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil), one of this year’s cycling revelations, and Lars Boom (Rabobank), Holland's up and coming classics talent, are both wrapping up their season with the Amstel Curacao Race.

After looking back on a long season, both riders have outlined their goals for next year and are looking to towards the spring classics. Boom will focus on the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, while Hoogerland will concentrate on the Ardennes Classics, with the most important races to him being the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“Although for me the semi-classics from February are also important,” Boom said in an interview with De Telegraaf.

Hoogerland enjoyed a stellar debut season with his team and told the Dutch newspaper, “I know now that I can do something. Of course I still look up to guys like Contador, the Schleckies and Hushovd when I encounter them on the beach [here in Curacao], but now I do dare to challenge them.

"In the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege this coming year I will wait until the final climbs. I know now that when I’m in good form I am among the best.”

Like many, Boom was also surprised by his fellow countryman. Just last year the duo were battling it out at Olympia’s Tour where Boom came out on top.  “Johnny was good there, but the way he has grown in one year, especially uphill, surprised me greatly,” he explained.

But Boom’s first season on Rabobank's ProTour team shouldn’t be overlooked. The ex-cyclocross world champion took a solo victory in the fifteenth stage in the Vuelta a Espana. Hoogerland went on to finish 12th overall in Spain's Grand Tour, while countryman Robert Gesink (Rabobank), arguably the best climber of the tour, finished a strong sixth despite a crash.

Hoogerland acknowledged the success of the pair saying simply, “I guess we both have a lot of class.”

Neither rider had high expectations for their debut year, and didn't expect much out of their first Grand Tour participation. Boom easily surpassed his expectations, “I was really motivated to show something in my first Grand Tour. I exceeded my expectations with the stage victory in the Vuelta. Especially the manner in which I won.

"I learned a lot in those three weeks. You should never give up. I also saw that I recovered well during such a tour. My stage victory in the difficult third week is proof of that.”

Hoogerland was initially battling it out for stage victories, but when his attack from a long breakaway nearly rewarded him with a stage win, the resulting time gaps had him quickly shift gears and set his sights on a good overall classification.

“In the first mountain stage, I found myself in a breakaway with David Moncoutie. I was surprised that I could stay away with him for so long and realized that I had a chance to win a mountain stage.

"That gave me motivation...I didn’t want to break. I bit down and stayed in his wheel. That performance gave me belief that I am not a rider that gets dropped among the first 60 when the road tilts up. I can stay in a good group.”

Boom was quick to correct Hoogerland, “In a very good group?" Boom is a believer in Hoogerland adding, " Johnny can finish even better if he is more patient.”

If this year is any sign of the future for the Dutch pair, they can expect to be a part of some big wins next year.

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