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"When I look at the whole season, I'm the only one who has come close to those two and also have beaten them. I know I can still make steps and that they will come."

Photo: Team Giant-Alpecin






30.01.2016 @ 12:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lars van der Haar is the Dutch co-leader at the Cyclo-Cross Worlds. He will start with confidence and also with the knowledge that he has won the World Cup race in Zolder twice. "That gives a mental advantage," he says.


Behind Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, Lars van der Haar is perhaps the third most frequently mentioned name as a favourite for the cyclo-cross world championships in Zolder. And Van der Haar has a good track record in Zolder. The 24-year-old Dutchman won the 2013 and 2014 World Cup races in the city.


"And this year I rode well. To ride on a course where you've already won once, gives a mental advantage. The short climbs suit me but the long start is sometimes difficult," he tells Sporza.


Van der Haar believes to some degree in the Belgian team but much depends on how the race unfolds. "Van Aert is the leader and Pauwels is co-leader, but there are many dangerous Belgians. Who is going to ride behind Nys if he makes a good start? It will be difficult to win, also for us."


With Mathieu van der Poel, Van der Haar has the top favorite in the squad. "I think the rider that beats Mathieu, is the world champion. If the Worlds race goes as last year, we will certainly ride together. Whether I ride in support or go for my own chance depends on the race.”


Van der Haar believes that he can challenge the two top favorites. "When I look at the whole season, I'm the only one who has come close to those two and also have beaten them. I know I can still make steps and that they will come."


In recent days there was talk of Van der Haar moving to the Marlux team, but the Dutchman has not made a decision yet. "I talked to Marlux, but I felt I had a lot of talks. After the Worlds, I will put all the proposals together. With a rainbow jersey, you're always stronger in the negotiations."


Lars Boom will be at the last with less expectations. "I will certainly be ambitious, otherwise you should not even start. I cannot target a specific result. I especially want to do a good race, better than at the World Cup," said the 2008 world champion.


The Astana rider has been on the road for a few years and sees clear differences in cyclo-cross. "Cross is like a family. On the road everything a bit bigger. I don’t miss than family much but I'm always happy to be back. I have always liked to do cyclo-crossand I also owe it a lot.”


Acccording to Lars Boom, the usual suspects will compete for the title. "Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel are outstanding and there is little to do, I guess.”



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