Eneco Tour: Heavy rain denied Lars Boom a possible time trial victory
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Eneco Tour: Heavy rain denied Lars Boom a possible time trial victory

by Ben Atkins at 3:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour
 
Rabobank rider endured the worst of the conditions to finish fifth in Roermond test

lars boomStage three of the Eneco Tour, between Heers and Andenne in the Belgian Ardennes, was disastrous for Lars Boom (Rabobank) in more ways than one. The 25-year-old former World cyclocross champion was unable to hold the pace set by Philippe Gilbert’s Omega Pharma-Lotto team on the final climbs of the stage and lost 1’14”. This loss dropped from fifth place, just ten seconds behind then leader Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing), to 45th, 1’21” behind Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

Not only was this a disaster for Boom’s overall ambitions in the race, but it meant that his start time in the stage four time trial – in mid-field instead of close to the end – meant that he was forced to endure the worst of the conditions as heavy rain fell on the middle of the stage.

“Halfway around I was close to the best time, but then the roads were getting wetter,” Boom explained to De Telegraaf. “Too bad, I was going really well, but there was nothing I could do under those circumstances.”

Boom finished in fifth place, 27 seconds behind stage winner Jesse Sergent (RadioShack), the time trial was something of a washout for the entire Rabobank team though, as the team’s sports director Nico Verhoeven explained.

"We had a disappointing run of bad luck again yesterday that we were part of the standings when the weather was the worst," he said. "For the last riders the ground was a little dry, though of course not as much as it was for the riders who had started at the beginning. But in any case our best riders started when it was raining really hard. They rode very good times in the conditions, but it is unfortunate that couldn’t make it into the top places."

As well as Boom’s fifth place, Marten Tjallingii was seventh, Sebastian Langeveld was 14th and Jos Van Emden was 15th. The good news was that Van Emden’s performance lifted the 2010 Dutch time trial champion to fifth place overall.

"It means that yesterday was just an offday," said Verhoeven. "If you are really bad, then you can do this. But also Jos was very strong. Of the riders in his area, only Boasson Hagen and Phinney went better, and perhaps that is just because of better conditions.

“Jos has just ridden a World-class time trial,” he added. “He is now fifth and that's after yesterday I think that was the best result that he could get out."

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