There was little doubt that victory on stage 5 of the BinckBank Tour meant a lot for Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), but his celebrations also cost him a pretty penny. Boom was fined a whopping 1,000 Swiss Francs for improper behaviour after making a rude gesture as he crossed the line.
Boom's celebration was reminiscent of Mark Cavendish's following a stage victory at the 2010 Tour de Romandie. Cavendish's went a little bit further and involved the "two-finger salute" - it was also aimed at the press. The Dutchman got off lightly in comparison to the Manx sprinter, who had a 6,000 CHF fine dished out at him before his HTC Colombia team decided to pull him from the race.
Boom claimed victory in Sittard-Geleen by three seconds after jumping clear of a small but elite group of riders in the final kilometre. The win was his first since the opening stage of the Post Danmark Rundt in August 2015, and put him into the overall race lead.
Emotions clearly got the better of the 31-year-old and, according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, it stemmed from the news that he had failed to make LottoNL-Jumbo's Vuelta a Espana squad. The newspaper says that Boom was told on Thursday night that his chances of making the Spanish Grand Tour line-up were almost nil. Boom, a Tour de France stage winner, has not raced a Grand Tour since the 2015 Grand Boucle. While Boom made no mention of gesture he made on the line, he said afterwards that the it had been a tough season where things didn't go to plan.
"It indeed brings a lot of joy," said Boom. "The spring classics didn't go as well as expected. Afterwards, I was close to the Dutch title. I worked hard to reach this level, and it's great that I could achieve this. I always want to win. Therefore, it's beautiful I can end a difficult period with many doubts in this way. Finally, I have been able to deliver my team a win and that's great."
Boom, unlike Cavendish, will remain in the race and takes a two-second lead into the final weekend of the BinckBank Tour. Just behind him is stage 1 and 3 winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in third at eight seconds.
"The shape is good, but we still have two difficult stages ahead," said Boom. "We have to wait and see how the race will evolve. In addition, we miss two important riders with Robert Wagner and Tom Leezer after today's stage. We have to take that into account."
The BinckBank Tour will resume with the longest stage of the race, a 203.7km stage from Riemst to Houffalize.