Lars Boom (Belkin) snatched the overall lead at the Eneco Tour in his home town of Vlijmen and is confident of keeping after today's 13.2km time trial stage and perhaps go on to win the WorldTour stage race for a second consecutive year.
Boom finished third on the penultimate stage behind Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack-Leopard), with the time bonus for third place enough to give him the leader's white jersey. He produced an inspired sprint, going early to endure he took the vital seconds.
“It might have something to do with Vlijmen. I was really motivated to win here and take the white jersey,” Boom said.
“We wanted to attack from the peloton in one of the last turns, but I was behind Jurgen Roelandts and he actually pulled so hard and long that I could just sit in his wheel and sprint normally. That was perfect.”
“It’s fantastic to end up on the podium in your hometown. We passed my house at fifty meters and rode down the street of my in-laws; that gave me a real boost.”
Boom celebrated with his family and young daughter but quickly turned his attention to the 13.2km time trial between Sittard and Geleen in the Lindberg region, close to Maastricht.
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) is the favourite to win the stage. Boom knows he has to try to gain time on overall rivals such as Philippe Gilbert and Taylor Phinney (BMC) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
"It's a fairly short and explosive stage, so that suits me. Moreover, there are some climbs in the beginning, and I like that. After the Tour de France I’m very strong uphill,” he said.
The time gaps created in the time trial will vital before the final weekend stages of the Eneco Tour. Saturday's 150km stage from Riemst to La Redoute includes seven climbs in the Ardennes and finishes atop the La Redoute. Sunday's 208km final stage is from Tienen to Geraardsbergen. It includes 11 Flanders climbs and finishes at the top of the Muur van Geraardsbergen.