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Lars Boom (Blanco)
Paris-Roubaix big target for Blanco Dutchman
After a spell of lackluster racing at E3-Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, Lars Boom (Blanco) is hoping for a more successful result in Sunday's Tour of Flanders before then turning his attention to Paris-Roubaix.
Boom pulled out of Harelbeke and finished in the main bunch at Gent-Wevelgem but told Cyclingnews that with a week of training in his legs, a higher placed finish could be in his grasp.
Boom has skirted with success in the Classics since devoting his time to the road - top-tens in E3 Harelbeke, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix - but he has fallen short of a podium.
This weekend Boom and his Blanco teammates come into Flanders with low expectations. Boom endured a disappointing Gent-Wevelgem while co-leader Sep Vanmarcke is still battling back from a recent knee injury.
"The legs are better than last weekend, I hope. I'm going to do my best but you never know. I feel better than Gent-Wevelgem. I thought I was ready for it after Tirreno but I had a shit feeling all day but I kept fighting," Boom told Cyclingnews.
"I've trained hard this week and I hope it's going to be a little bit better."
While Blanco continue to search for a sponsor both in the Dutch sector and on the international stage, Boom and his teammates are tasked with pulling in the results. A podium at Flanders would certainly be a bonus considering how much the team has struggled in recent weeks. They began the season with a bang with victories at the Tour Down Under and two stages at the Volta ao Algarve. Boom himself chipped in with a stage at the Tour du Haut Var and Tour Méditerranéen, but since February the wins have slowed.
"I want to do well and there's pressure from myself," he said.
"Also there's a bit from the team because Sep and me are the guys from the team who need to get results. There's some pressure there."
As for Flanders, "Maybe we can't follow the lead guys but maybe do a top-five or top-10 if there's a big group. But maybe you have to anticipate the moves. Then again you can make a move and then you spoil your energy if you bring two guys with you who don't work as much.
"The big goal for me is Roubaix, but for me I have to make sure that I put the same energy into Flanders and I need to see it as the same. I'll keep riding and keep fighting."