News shorts: Boom adds to 'cross calendar

Boom adds to cyclo-cross schedule

Lars Boom has already announced he would compete in a handful of cyclo-cross races this season, but has added a few more including the Scheldecross in Antwerp and the Azencross in Loenhout.

Boom has stayed away from cyclo-cross over the past two years, after taking second to Lars van der Haar in the Dutch championships in 2013. Boom was three times world champion - once each as elite, U23 and junior- in cyclo-cross, but has focussed on the road since 2009.

This year, Boom will race the Scheldecross on December 19, the World Cup in Namen the next day, then in Zolder on December 26, Azencross on December 29, Bredene on December 30 and Surhuisterveen on January 2.

Lars Boom as World Champion on the Nommay World Cup podium in 2008 (TDW Sport)

Stybar will not race 'cross Worlds

Zdenek Stybar will race four 'cross events this winter, but will absolutely not be competing in the World Championships in Zolder on January 31.

"I will decide this week which crosses I'm racing. I don't think I will race five. That just wouldn't work. It does not fit into my [road] preparation," Stybar said to Sporza. "After the team camp, I will race two or three 'crosses. I will certainly not ride the World Championships. It does not fit into my program and the course cannot be compared with Hoogerheide," where he won his last world title in 2014.

"The World Cup course in Zolder is very technical. I do not think I can compete for victory there. I am also really not investing my time in it. I want to put everything on the Spring Classics."

Stybar predicts that he will have a hard time competing with the likes of Wout Van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Sven Nys.

His schedule has yet to be announced, but it was reported last week that he applied to race the Bpost bank trofee races in Antwerp (December 19), Loenhout (December 29), and Baal (January 1), along with the Soudal Classics in Leuven on January 3.

Anna van der Breggen and Tom Dumoulin scoop up Dutch cyclist of the year awards

Tom Dumoulin won his second straight Dutch cyclist of the year award, collecting the Gerrit Schulte Trofee at a ceremony in 's-Hertogenbosch. Anna van der Breggen won the women's cyclist of the year claiming her first De Keetie van Oosten-Hage trophy.

Dumoulin was a surprise winner last year but following his 2015 performances there was no conjecture regarding the 25-year-old's win. The Giant-Alpecin rider crashed out of the Tour de France on a day many Dutch fans expected Dumoulin to finish the stage wearing yellow. Dumoulin then bounced back with a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana ahead of Chris Froome, emerging as a genuine threat to overall victory with three stints over six days in the leader's red jersey.

A strong time trial victory saw Dumoulin start the penultimate day in the leaders jersey but slipped down the standings to sixth place. Dumoulin also won stages at the Pais Vasco and Tour de Suisse, finishing the season with fifth place in the Worlds time trial.

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Van der Breggen also enjoyed a breakout season as she won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, the national time trial title and La Course by Le Tour de France on her way to second place overall on the World Cup standings. The 25-year-old also enjoyed stage and overall wins at Energiewacht Tour, Elsy Jacobs and the Giro Rosa. The Rabo Liv rider finished her season with silver medals in the Worlds time trial and road races and bronze in the team time trial.

Italian team for Tour de San Luis to feature Pozzatto, Viviani

The Italian national team has been announced for January's Tour de San Luis with Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) two of the riders named in the team with Southeast's young sprinter Jakub Mareczko the third professional rider named in the six-man squad. U23 riders Riccardo Minali, Edward Ravasi and Edoardo Affini will complete the team.

Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli and Adriano Malori will join the team in January with the trio focused on a reconnaissance of the 2016 Rio Olympics road race and trial time courses with national selector Davide Cassini.

Pozzato is yet to announce a team for the upcoming season has ridden the last four editions of the Argentinian race. Mareczko, who made his professional debut at the 2.1 race this season, took seven stage victories on his way to the overall win at the Tour of Taihu Lake in October. The 21-year-old will offer the Italian team a second sprinting option alongside Viviani who is building his season around the Doha World Championships in October.

Italian national coach Davide Cassani (Fotoreporter Sirotti)

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