Milka-Trek rider transitioned from road racing
By winning stage 4 of the Crocodile Trophy on Friday, Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) showed again how has made a successful transition from road to mountain bike racing.
"Mountain biking is my new passion," said Boelen. "I think I am more talented as a road rider, but I needed a new challenge. This year I started in six road races. I won three of them, so I didn't forget how to do that, but I am as happy now. I hope I can win more stages to win the points classification, but I'm not giving up hope on that red jersey either."
Earlier this year Boelen had finished, with Bart Brentjens, seventh in the famous Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, and he had second overall in the Dutch Top Competition Series.
In his former road career, Boelen won two stages in Olympia's Tour in the Netherlands and was overall winner of the Tour de Liège in Belgium ahead of Robert Gesink and Johnny Hoogerland. He was also successful at the Route Nivernaise Morvan in France.
Boelen's stage 4 Croc Trophy came when he outsprinted the other top riders at the finish, including race leader Urs Huber and another talented contender Wolfgang Krenn.
"Before the Crocodile Trophy, my team owner Bart Brentjens had briefed me that I would always be able to win a the sprint against Huber, but I had no idea about the sprinting skills of Krenn," said Boelen. "First (Josef) Benedseder misjudged the last corner, and then I passed Krenn and I won. I am very happy. This is also a victory for Bart Brentjens who should have been here."
Boelen had planned to help Brentjens win the Crocodile Trophy, but the Olympic Champion was forced to withdraw from the race just before it started on Tuesday due to illness.
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