Tour of California: Boom encouraged by his showing on stage two
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tour of California: Boom encouraged by his showing on stage two

by Conal Andrews at 9:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
Dutch rider climbing better than he expected

Dutchman Lars Boom is bigger than most of the climbers in the peloton but as he did when taking a stage victory in last year’s Vuelta a España, he showed yesterday that he can get up the hills well when he’s in good form.

The Rabobank competitor stayed in contact over the tough terrain between Davis and Santa Rosa, netting third behind Brett Lancaster (Cervélo Test Team) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas). He had hoped to show well in the race, but didn’t expect to do so over the hills.

"All was good. I actually surprised myself with this. I did not know where I stood, but this was a fun experience. It was my sort of weather today, but I did not know how I would do,” he said after the stage. “It surprised me that I could be there on the last climb and relatively easily, too. It was a difficult climb, pretty steep and narrow. There were more and more riders dropped there, but I could follow pretty well. Radioshack pulled hard, but I was not in trouble.”

The unexpected result was a boost, of course, showing that the former world cyclo cross and espoir time trial champion is settling in well as he ages. But reflecting on the placing afterwards, he couldn’t help but wish for a little extra.

"I didn’t position myself well [at the end] and perhaps had a longer sprint to make,” he said on the Team Rabobank website. “I got to third position…I felt strong. I felt there was more there, that is the only regret of the day. Third place is nice, but the legs were very good today. In that case, you want more.”

He is now sitting fourth overall in the Tour of California, six seconds off the lead of Lancaster, and is ahead of many bigger names in the race. In all only 26 riders are within ten seconds of the yellow jersey, so after two days the list of overall contenders has been thinned right down.

Even so, he thinks it is too soon to bank on a high overall finish. He’ll try, but the days ahead will determine if that is indeed possible.

"It was difficult today, but this was definitely not the most difficult stage. The days ahead are harder,” he explained. “But yes, it went very well uphill today. It is could be promising for the week. I won’t say yet that I can do a good general classification, but I will look carefully at where I can finish here. But if I keep these legs, then I will certainly show everything again in the days ahead. This is a nice race and my form seems very good.”

Boom has one advantage over many of the other European riders; he has been in California since May 7th, due to some publicity-related work they were asked to do by the US wing of Rabobank. He and Tom Leezer have been training there since then and have full recovered from any jet lag that they felt. Other riders who arrived closer to the start of the race have been suffering a little, both from the travel and also the change to their circadian rhythm and sleep patterns.


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