Leo Van Vliet wonders about Theo Bos's chances at next year's World Championships
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Leo Van Vliet wonders about Theo Bos's chances at next year's World Championships

by Jered Gruber at 12:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dutch national team coach confident in a sprint finish next year in Copenhagen

The work of a national team coach is never over. Dutch National coach, Leo Van Vliet, recently visited Denmark to look for accommodation for his team next fall for the World Championships in Copenhagen. While on site, he of course took a hard look at the route that awaits the world's best after a long 2011 season.

Unsurprisingly, Van Vliet declares it a race for the sprinters. Speaking with nusport.nl, the Dutchman describes it as "undulating, with a short climb after the start of the lap, but that is nothing. It's a very different course than we have grown accustomed to in recent years."

In short, he sees a sprint on the horizon, and he might have just the right solution in track star turned road man, Theo Bos.

Bos has done absolutely nothing as of yet to indicate that he'll be a rider capable of beating someone like Thor Hushovd after 250 or so, still difficult, kilometers. Van Vliet recognizes that, but also has two years of improvements to look back on and a big question to ask: "I wonder how Theo will develop in 2011…"

At this moment, victory for the former track sprinter would seem almost ludicrous, but given his continual improvements, he has at least a dark horse shot.

The 27 year old took four wins in his second season on the road. He also showed well in some hotly contested sprints throughout the year, but couldn't do any better than two 9th place finishes in his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta. A 53rd place finish at Paris-Roubaix won't send anyone to the bookies to place some bets on his chances next year, but his accomplishments in 2010 were completely unimaginable even in 2009. What happens if Bos makes another quantum leap forward in 2011?

In a recent conversation with De Telegraaf, the former flying 200 meter world record holder declared: "Nothing is impossible. I've been in contact with the best in the world. I see that they are still a lot better, but the connection has been created. The awareness is there: it can, it will succeed."

Van Vliet would be happy to include a World Championship contender Theo Bos. It would seem that any real hope at Dutch victory next year would rest with the powerful sprinter.

"If we arrived at the finish this year with thirty rider, I totally think that the next World Championship will be one for the sprinters," says the 55 year old former professional racer.

The Netherlands has not won a World Championship medal since Leon Van Bon's 1997 bronze medal. The luck has been a bit better on the women's side. Marianne Vos is a constant fixture on the World Championship podium over the last five years - the last four years have resulted in four straight silver medals. 



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