De Knegt: “Wait and see how well Boom goes”
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

De Knegt: “Wait and see how well Boom goes”

by Ben Atkins at 10:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 

Rabobank’s Gerben De Knegt has been the best Dutch cyclocross rider by far this season. Along with Telenet-Fidea’s Czech champion Zdenek Stybar, he has been one of the few riders to challenge the dominance of the Belgians and currently sits in 6th place in the UCI rankings, far above the next best Dutchman: Thijs Al of AA Drink. This Sunday’s race at Sint Michielsgestel, Netherlands though, sees the return to cyclocross of Lars Boom, who successfully took on the Belgians and won in recent years.

De Knegt wants to wait and see how the 2008 World champion goes before he gives up his position as top Dutchman to his Rabobank teammate. "If Boom is better, then that is that,” he said to Sporza.

Boom has sat out the cyclocross season so far after concentrating on his road career in 2009. His main highlights were overall victory in the Tour of Belgium and a stage win in the Vuelta a España. He returns to cyclocross this week to build up to the defence of his national championship the following weekend and an attempt to regain his World title in Tabor, Czech Republic at the end of the month.

24-year-old Boom – who celebrated his birthday the day before New Year’s Eve – has been criticised in some quarters for missing the lion’s share of the season and only returning for the prestigious national and World championships, not from De Knegt though. “It’s not forbidden,” he said, “If I were him I’d do it.

“I am the favourite for the [Dutch] title, but if Boom has a better day then that’s the way it is. My season doesn’t depend on the Dutch title.

“It’s a case of wait and see with Boom,” he continued. “Maybe he’ll be good, but maybe not. Cyclocross for him is a stepping-stone to the spring classics. But of course Boom has already proved himself to be an excellent cyclocross racer, he has not won the World championships for no reason.”

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