Dutchman hopeful he will be ready for Classics
Lars Boom (Belkin) has been forced to withdraw from Paris-Nice after he suffered a minor fracture to his right elbow in a crash in the finale of stage 2 to Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche.
In spite of the injury, Boom was optimistic about his chances of lining up at the cobbled Classics. He will undergo a check-up in the Netherlands on Wednesday or Thursday to assess the full extent of the damage.
“I’m in pain now but I assume that I’m going to be at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix,” Boom said, according to De Telegraaf. “I was able to finish and I was able to move my elbow, but after I took a shower, the pain got worse so we went to the hospital.”
Although Boom admitted that he was disappointed to miss out on an important week of racing at Paris-Nice, he remained optimistic about his chances of being ready for the spring Classics, pointing out that he was already advanced in his preparation.
Boom performed strongly at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend, where a puncture in the finale arguably cost him a chance of victory, and had also shown signs of form at the Tour of Qatar in February.
“I’m sorry to miss out on the kilometres from Paris-Nice,” he said. “I’ll have to adjust things a bit but I already feel I have very good legs, so I can pick it up again.”
Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Belisol) have also been forced to abandon Paris-Nice due to injuries sustained in crashes on Monday.
The Boom incident marred an otherwise fine day for Belkin at Paris-Nice, as Moreno Hofland continued his impressive start to the season with sprint victory on stage 2 ahead of John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano). In the past two weeks, Hofland has finished in second place at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last week and claimed stage victory on the final day of the Ruta del Sol.
“Lars Boom crashed, which was a pity because he was supposed to be my lead-out man, so we had to improvise," Hofland said of his win. “After finishing second at Kuurne, now to win at Paris-Nice, I just cannot believe it. It's very special to win a stage in this race."
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