Giant-Shimano’s Lars van der Haar will not participate in the upcoming Bpost Bank Trofee event held on Tuesday in Loenhout, Belgium, in order to recover from a head cold. The Dutch champion is scheduled to compete next at the series’ GP Sven Nys in Baal on January 1.
Van der Haar placed fourth at the Superprestige Diegem on Sunday behind winner Mathieu van der Poel from the BCKP-Powerplus team, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) in second and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) in third. The race was held at twilight and in cold temperatures.
On Monday, van der Haar, together with the team’s coaches and medial experts, decided that he would not race in Loenhout and instead recover back to good health for the upcoming events in January and the remainder of the cyclo-cross season.
Van der Haar’s coach, Dirk Reuling, commented on his illness in a team statement that said, "It's never nice to miss a race but we took the decision after Lars' recovery ride today that he should miss tomorrow's race to make sure that he's in top form for the coming races. Yesterday was a hard evening race in Diegem and this will prevent further problems in the races to come.”
Van der Haar, the winner of the 2013-14 UCI Cyclo-cross overall standings, has had strong performances this season with wins at the World Cups in Valkenburg and Heusden-Zolder, second place in Namur and fourth place in Milton Keynes. He was forced to skip the World Cup in Koksijde due to gastroenteritis.
He is currently ranked fifth in the Bpost Bank Trofee series, third in the Superprestige series and second in the World Cup standings.