Lars Boom of the Rabobank squad is looking forward to the second part of the cycling season, starting for him at the Amgen Tour of California. The former cyclo-cross world champion took a break from racing after the Spring Classics and is now building up his form again in view of the Dutch championships in June.
Boom spent the past week in California, training for the stage race. "I rode around San Francisco, I even went over the Golden Gate bridge. The weather was awesome. Together with my girlfriend, we really enjoyed this wonderful scenery," the 25-year-old said on the Rabobank team website.
Along with other riders, the 2011 Dutch cyclo-cross champion regretted that stage one around Lake Tahoe was cancelled, but looked forward to the next stages where he wants to get back into the rhythm of racing. "After the Spring Classics, I took some rest and then started to increase my training intensity again three weeks ago. This week, I just want to be part of the race and see what happens.
"We have a good squad here, and I want to contribute to that. On Monday [stage two], the finish is in Sacramento, it's important for Rabobank. We want to bring Oscar Freire or Michael Matthews in a good position there."
Building up for his national championships, Boom doesn't know whether he'll race the Tour de France yet, but was looking very much forward to the second part of the season as his spring campaign has given him further confidence. He finished ninth in Gent-Wevelgem, and 12th in Paris-Roubaix.
"I look back at the spring feeling satisfied. I've made another huge step. Perhaps not yet in terms of results, but in terms of how I felt. In Roubaix for example, I was going well, but shortly after the Arenberg forest I punctured. I could have done much better there, I felt really strong that day. It gave me a lot of confidence for the future."
Boom confirmed that he will be staying with the Rabobank squad for another three years. "I feel very good in the team, and the management gives me a lot of trust. I am perhaps entering the most important part of my career, and it makes me feel that I can tackle it from a basis that I know well," he said.