Lars Boom will co-lead a buoyant Rabobank team into this weekend's road races, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The Dutch outfit has sprinted out of the blocks in 2011 registering nine victories and 17 podium places, and with Boom leading the team alongside Sebastian Langeveld, they'll be hoping to keep that momentum going as the European racing scene finally shifts towards the Spring Classics.
"My form is good and I'm feeling fresh and well," a muddy Boom told Cyclingnews after reconnoitring the final sections of the Omloop course today.
"The team is strong and we've got a good bond going. Everyone is in good shape."
It's not just hyperbole: the team began their season in form with the under 23 world champion Michael Matthews winning at stage at the Tour Down Under. That was followed by Boom winning the opening stage of the Tour of Oman, and while he faded due to illness as the race progressed, Theo Bos and Robert Gesink both won two stages as Gesink took the overall.
In the last two days, Oscar Freire won two stages at the Ruta del Sol.
"I started with a win but we had a great Tour of Oman throughout the team. We hope that we can continue that this weekend and into all the Classics in the upcoming months. The whole team is ready for it, and so am I."
"This is the opening weekend of the Classics, and for every team it's important. On a personal level, I had a really good winter and I'll try and go as far as possible. Lets see what happens."
One rider Rabobank will have to do without is their main Classics hopeful Matti Breschel. The Dane signed from Saxo Bank at the end of 2010 but has been plagued by knee injuries. He will miss this weekend's racing as he continues his rehabilitation, meaning Boom will aim to go toe-to-toe with the more experienced likes of Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), Tom Boonen (Quickstep) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky).
"Matti is hopefully going to be okay in the up coming months and will ride races like Flanders and Roubaix but him not being here this weekend doesn't put more pressure on me necessarily," Boom said.
"I already have my own pressure and I want to perform better than I did last year. Fabian, Boonen, they're higher up than me and they've won a lot more races and hare stronger riders but hopefully I'll be near them."
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.