Thursday January 17, 2013
Bunch sprint finishes key to success, says Bos
PETALING JAYA: The Blanco Pro Cycling Team will be banking on bunch sprint finishes when they make their first appearance at the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Feb 21-March 2.
The team, formerly known as Rabobank, will travel to Asia with their superstar Theo Bos and his lead-out man Graeme Brown, a household name in Malaysia in the early days of his career.
“I see the LTdL as a good opportunity to get our sprint train on track. Doing sprints, getting experience, learning from mistakes. This race will be perfect because there are a lot of sprint stages,” said Bos.
By selecting Jetse Bol, Tom Leezer, Marc Goos and Jos van Emden alongside Bos and Brown, the Blanco Pro Cycling Team have shown that they intend to compete strongly in the eight possible bunch sprint finishes out of the 10 stages.
“We’ll be in Malaysia firstly to get the new team together,” said a humble Bos.
“This is a new start for the former Rabobank. There are some new influences in the team ... new staff members, new sports directors ... and other ideas. The team’s focus on sprints is getting bigger and bigger. I really enjoy that. I hope it will bear fruit.
“Going to LTdL, it’s a goal to come home with at least a win in our pockets. I really don’t know what to expect about the country. It’ll be my first visit, except from my stopovers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
“I only know a few guys from the Malaysian track team, like Josiah Ng.”
Bos, 29, is a former rival of Josiah in the keirin event. They first raced against each other in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where the Dutchman secured the silver medal in the individual sprint.
After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he successfully switched to road racing.
This year’s LTdL, which carries the slogan “The Heat is On”, will officially begin in Kangar on Feb 21 and will comprise 10 stages, covering 1469.7km.
The 18th edition of the race is marked not only by its return to its legendary birthplace, but also a challenging route which features two tough climbs – up Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.