Lars Boom did the honors of representing his country and team through the Netherlands
Lars Boom spent about 190 km of Stage 1 leading the Tour de France with his two breakmates, Maarten Wynants (QuickStep) and Alan Perez (Euskaltel). Boom is no stranger to long breaks and did an honorable job representing his team and his country as the race plowed through the Netherlands.
The move's composition was no accident according to Boom. He chatted with QuickStep's Wynants about the possibility. After departing the field's welcoming confines in the very first kilometer, the trio was given the gift of a race route lined end to end with fans.
"Yes, I had previously discussed with Maarten Wynants the idea of getting away together. It is a very beautiful experience to spend the day ahead of the race in your own country. I wanted to address that experience. The public was more than numerous and very enthusiastic, even in Belgium. Everywhere we were, we were loudly cheered on. It was wonderful to race through that."
Rabobank director, Frans Maassen, details the Rabobank plans a little more closely: "We had identified four men to try for the early break: Lars, Maarten Tjallingii, Koos Moerenhout, and Bram Tankink. We wanted to represent ourselves well in the Dutch stage at the Giro. We have to be a little bit careful, because we have two leaders that need to be protected. For the first three days though, there is some space though."
Former Cross World Champion, Boom, had no illusions of victory on the opening road stage of the Tour de France, in fact, he ran out of gas late in the stage when the attacks started in the erstwhile happily cooperating group. Boom made a strong move himself, but not long after that, the gig was up.
"I just really wanted to get out there. The legs were not quite great, so I enjoyed myself a little too early and was caught. I was happy that Maarten could stay away a little while longer, but I couldn't do that today."
One of Boom's primary jobs in this Tour, is to tend to Robert Gesink through the wild ride that is life in the peloton. Of course, being out front for the entire stage doesn't allow for much protection, but Boom did actually spend a few minutes at the end of the stage with the rider he will be protecting for the next three weeks.
"I rode just five kilometers with Robert Gesink today, but he was fine. Then I went to the back of the field to hang out. I am happy that I didn't have any problems with the crashes in the finale, and that I could ride across the finish unscathed. I at least had a nice day!"
Up ahead, the fortunes of the Rabobank team were not holding together so well. Oscar Freire was in an ideal position in the waning moments of the stage, but was felled in a crash. Freire looked to be ok following the wreck, but affirms that, "It's a bit painful, but I think it's not too bad. I felt very good and was in a good position, and then it was suddenly over. But that's cycling."