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Race just too long for Boom
Lars Boom and Joost Posthuma were Rabobank's leaders going into Paris-Roubaix, but neither of them even finished the race. Only three riders from the Dutch team came to the finish line within the time limit, with the best being Maarten Tjallingii in 31st place, at 7:05.
"That's how Paris-Roubaix is," said directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven on the team's website. "It's a game of setbacks. Some of them you can correct and some you can't."
The race started out well for the team. "The first two hundred kilometres were indeed as we wanted." It had Rick Flens and Tom Leezer in the front group to help control things. Sebastian Langefeld punctured in Wallers. "He ultimately was able to come back to the front group, but the finale had been started and the contenders were already gone."
Tjallingii was eager to jump with the leading group, but his derailleur broke "and there was not a bike change immediately, because at the time we were not able to ride behind him. Then your chance is instantly gone."
He continued, "Had Maarten not broken his derailleur and had gotten into the Boonen group, then a top ten finish was possible and we would have been in the picture. He would have had a good classification and it would have been a good race for the team. He fell back with a lousy time and missed the finale, so he wasn't in the picture. But that's how things go."
Boom was making his Paris-Roubaix debut. "As in Flanders, Lars Boom was good the first two hundred kilometres. He will have his opportunities," Verhoeven said, but indicated that this 259km race was simply too long for him at this point.