Sprinter looking for first grand tour stage win
After winning his second stage victory at the Tour de Langkawi Theo Bos (Belkin) believes he is on the right track this season for his attack on the classics later this month.
"I am happy with the form,” Bos told Cyclingnews. "Qatar was a really hard race. I finished one time third and here the form is also really good. I feel good going uphill and the heat is not a problem. So yeah, I feel good and the legs are good and hopefully the results will come."
This is the second year that Bos has chosen to use the Malaysian race as part of his preparation for the classics. Last year he finished with two victories, but with three more stages available it is possible that he could add a few more before he goes home at the weekend. Bos believes that the Tour de Langkawi's tendency towards the sprints, allows him and his team to get they practice they need early in the year.
"There are a lot of sprints here and it's good for us to work together, to learn about the sprinting and, for me also, to ride sprints. In the beginning of the season it's something you have to get used to. It's not something you can really train to do.
"I hope I can do better, it's not so easy to win races but I try for sure. Like I say, the most important thing is to have good condition, good legs and good form. For example a race like yesterday (stage six) was a big chance for us, but in the final if it doesn't go 100% and you don’t sprint for the victory.
Bos' big target for the early part of the season will be Scheldeprijs, where his best result was third in 2012, and a possible tilt at the national title. This year Bos is also on the hunt for his first grand tour stage victory this season.
"I have won many races, but of course you want to have more. A dream goal for me is to win a stage at a grand tour, but that is incredibly difficult," he said. "It doesn't matter which ones but it's nice to win every stage you start, but that’s not possible. For now, I just focus on the races I can win. I hope to win as much as possible."
The 30-year-old has only ridden two grand tours prior to this season, with two 9th places at the 2010 Vuelta a España the closest he's come to victory at one of the three-week races. It's not known which of the grand tours he will ride this season, although it is likely to be the Vuelta. Bos was lined up to ride it last year, but was dropped from the roster due to low cortisol levels after a reaction to his asthma medication.
Despite missing out on the Vuelta a España, 2013 was Bos' best season to date with 12 victories on his palmarès. Along with his victories in Langkawi, the Dutch rider also won at the Tour of Norway, the Tour of Hainan and Ster Elektotoer, where he beat Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.
Both Cavendish and Greipel will be heading to Milan-San Remo later this month, after it was announced that the Pompeiana would be taken out of the race. However Bos dismissed any idea that he would follow their lead and take to the starting line.
"For me, I think it is too difficult to win," he explained to Cyclingnews. "We have a few riders who, when the Pompeiana is out, can do a really good result. For example, Moreno Hofland, he's not on the roster for that race yet but it’s an option for him to do that race because he can ride really well uphill and he's also really fast. For me it is not an option."
The Tour de Langkawi finishes on Saturday 8th March in Kuala Terengganu.
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