Lars Boom (Rabobank) added to his already diverse and impressive palmares when he won the overall classification at the seven-day Eneco Tour on Sunday. It is the Dutchman’s second road victory of the season and demonstrates he’s on track for a strong opening week at the Vuelta a España which begins on August 18. Boom won a stage at Ster ZLM Toer in June and claimed the Dutch national championship cyclo-cross title in January.
"If I can maintain the condition from Eneco, I think there’s a good chance of taking a stage win in the first week of the Vuelta," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
It is the third stage race victory for Boom who is steadily building upon his numerous cyclo-cross wins earlier in his career. Now, with his cyclo-cross racing taking a backseat to a fulltime career on the road, he is a hot prospect to get his second win at the Vuelta - he won stage 15 in 2009 edition.
"Undoubtedly this is my biggest win since I concentrate fully on the road. It is unfortunate that I have taken this victory without a stage win but that has not taken away the fun."
Boom will now travel to Spain for the start of the Vuelta in Pamplona. The race kicks off with a team time trial where Boom will hope to lead his Rabobank team to a strong finish. His Dutch team is not renowned for their TTT ability but with a solid fourth-place showing during Eneco’s TTT on stage 2, the team is looking good.
"Hats off to the team, they performed very well all week. The first stage was our worst day. The team time trial was the turn around, there the basis for the final victory was laid. Bos subsequently gets a stage win and we were also good during the final weekend," said sports director Nico Verhoeven on the team site.
This year’s Vuelta serves up another tough race for those looking to use the three week grand tour as preparation for the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands. Boom, however, is not concerned with the many difficult stages during the Vuelta as he believes it will help him on the numerous ascents of the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg during the 265km race.
"The Vuelta remains primarily the ultimate preparation for the World Championships but I will not miss a chance for a stage win. It does not bother me that the Vuelta is hard. It will be good so then I can float over the Cauberg," said Boom on Het Laatste Nieuws.
"We have a good team for the general classification. And after that to the World Championships. One more beautiful race in my own country," Boom said on his team site.