by Bart Hazen
Lars Boom has successfully defended his national title in the Dutch Cyclocross Championships today. In only his second ‘cross race this season, he was the best after an exciting battle ahead of teammate Gerben de Knegt and the most aggressive rider in the race Thijs Al. Thijs van Amerongen and Wilant van Gils completed the top five.
Lars Boom had the best start of all, despite not starting from the front row, and jumped to the front and turned into the field in first. Boom was followed by Thijs Al, Gerben de Knegt, Thijs van Amerongen and Bram Schmitz, but once the break was established other riders didn’t play a role in the race after lap one.
Thijs Al put in the best effort of the riders in the break and kept pressuring the others. In the third of nine laps he created a gap together with Gerben de Knegt after Boom faltered with chain problems. The two in front were too concerned with one another, with the result that Boom, Van Amerongen and Schmitz were able to rejoin them.
In the penultimate lap Schmitz dropped off the break and was caught and left behind by Wilant van Gils, who would take fifth place.
Turning into the final lap, Thijs Al attacked the break and was followed by the two Rabobank riders – Gerben de Knegt and Lars Boom. Due to the attack, Al dropped his teammate van Amerongen, who had to be satisfied with a fourth place. Halfway through the final lap De Knegt slipped, but was back on the bike quickly and rejoined Al and Boom. It seemed it was going to end in a three-up sprint, but in the final corner Thijs Al cracked and Lars Boom would profit from it and prolong his time in his national champions jersey.
Lars Boom said after the race that thiswas the toughest of all of the titles he’s won in cyclocross. “In the final lap we battled with three riders for the title. We were equal to each other today. Thijs Al slipped away in the final corner and I could profit from it.”
Boom didn’t think he could win here today. “In the third lap I had a problem with my chain and wasn’t able to respond to Al and De Knegt. Because they speculated, in front we could close the gap of 20 seconds.”
For Lars Boom the National Championships was his second and final ‘cross of the season. He stated in the press conference after the race that he won’t participate in the World Championships In Tabor at the end of the month. This week he will go on training camp in Mallorca and will not be home again until three days before the Worlds in the Czech-Republic.
Result Elite Men
1 27 Boom, Lars Vlijmen 1:02:20
2 29 de Knegt, Gerben Goirle 1:02:22 0:02
3 2 Al, Thijs Elst Gld 1:02:23 0:03
4 3 van Amerongen, Thijs Vorden 1:02:25 0:05
5 28 van Gils, Wilant Schijndel 1:02:27 0:07
6 20 Schmitz, Bram Waalre 1:02:45 0:25
7 9 van Houts, Rudi Luyksgestel 1:05:15 2:55
8 31 van Leeuwen, Patrick Hilvarenbeek z.t.
9 30 van Heeswijk, Roy Sint Oedenrode 1:06:34 4:14
10 16 Luisman, Jordy Bergentheim 1:06:44 4:24
11 7 Hartogs, Ivar Amersfoort 1:07:10 4:50
12 5 Bronkhorst, Harm Nieuw Vennep Op 1 Ronde
13 24 de Vries, Micha Hilversum
14 23 van Veen, Jorn Losser
15 4 Becking, Hans Gorssel
16 18 Ottens, Tim Amsterdam
17 12 van IJzendoorn, Rik Tiel
18 10 van Houtum, Roel Goirle
19 13 de Jonge, Daan Oldenzaal
20 32 Kallenfels, Jerry Breda
21 6 de Bruin, Bas Uithoorn
22 14 de Laat, Patrick Berlicum
23 15 Louws, Nard Gilze
24 21 Schotte, Kasper Hellevoetsluis
25 19 van Rij, Kaey Spijkenisse
26 25 Wind, Bram Eindhoven
27 8 van de Helder, Rick Kockengen