Lars Boom scored his first cyclo-cross podium finish since 2010 in his debut with the LottoNL-Jumbo team, finishing second in the Centrumcross Surhuisterveen on Wednesday. Boom was in contention for victory until sliding out on the final lap and being passed by eventual winner Corne van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea). Lars van der Haar was third.
Many of the big names in men's cyclo-cross were absent as they rested up before the national championships at the weekend.
The last time Boom stood on a podium was at the end of 2010 in a snow-packed Zolder World Cup, where he used his exceptional bike-handling skills to win ahead of Niels Albert.
In Surhuisterveen today, Boom faced similarly rough conditions, this time it was a cold rain and ankle-deep mud. Boom rolled a tyre early in the race and was forced to chase, passing Van der Haar and closing in on Van Kessel mid-way through the hour-long race.
On the penultimate lap, Boom and Van Kessel were together, but the Telenet rider slid out through the tape lining the course, and struggled to get back on track. Boom led into the final lap, but then too was caught up by the course tape and was passed by Van Kessel and could not return.
Boom, the cyclo-cross world champion in 2008, renounced the discipline to focus on the road in 2011. He decided to return this season with a limited but focused cyclo-cross schedule, beginning in December in three Spanish C2 races before heading to Belgium for the Zolder World Cup, where he was 11th.
The 32-year-old has stated his intent to challenge at the World Championships against top riders Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.
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