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Lars Boom (Rabobank)
Dutch sensation Lars Boom is set to make the formal switch from cyclo-cross to road racing next...
Dutch sensation Lars Boom is set to make the formal switch from cyclo-cross to road racing next season, after winning all three Dutch titles on offer in 2008. Boom took the Dutch time trial title on Sunday, adding another red, white and blue jersey to his collection.
He won the cyclo-cross championships in January, following that up with the World Championship title, before winning the Dutch professional road championships in June.
"Every Dutch championship I entered, I won, that is not normal," Boom told Volkskrant.
It is not only the Dutch championships he has won, however. Including last year's World Under-23 Time Trial Championship title, Boom has won every World Championship he has entered too.
For this reason Boom is placed under considerable pressure from the general public where ever he races.
"I go to a race and everyone expects me to win," he said. "That is not good, it shouldn't be expected that where ever I ride I will take gold."
Before making the switch to concentrate on racing the road, Boom plans to ride a full program of cyclo-cross races over the European winter. As the defending World Champion he feels obligated to show the jersey to his fans, especially his growing fan base in Belgium.
In order to best prepare for the tough winter season ahead, Boom has opted to forgo this month's UCI World Road Championships, much to his disappointment. After winning the Under 23 Time Trial title last year, Boom was eager to pit himself against the very best in the world as an elite rider.
Boom will join Rabobank's professional outfit officially on October 1, but before that he will travel with the team to the Tour of Missouri. He won't be racing in Missouri however, but will be training and assisting the team's mechanics. It will be the last time that Boom will travel with Rabobank's Continental squad and marks a symbolic end to this chapter of he cycling career.
It has taken five years for Boom to make the step up to the professional league. "If I didn't race 'cross I would have made the step up a lot earlier," he said.
Given the palmares he has achieved in those five years, the Dutchman's future is expected to boom on the road.