Boom blasts to U23 time-trial title

Dutchman wins opening event in Stuttgart

Dutchman Lars Boom is determined to continue his cyclo-cross career despite claiming gold in the men's under-23 time-trial at the world road race championships here on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old, who won the under-23 title at this year's world cyclo-cross championships, completed the 38.1 km course in a time of 48min 57.93secs.

Russian Olympic track champion Mikhail Ignatiev, the winner in 2005, was second in a time of 49:06.99 while France's Jerome Coppel claimed his second consecutive time trial bronze in the category in a time of 49:43.52.

Boom said his recent preparation for the upcoming cyclo-cross season had given him a huge boost in his bid to beat the highly-fancied Russian. And he said his win here will not persuade him to switch to the road discipline.

"Even though I knew Mikhail Ignatiev would be difficult to beat I quickly realised I could score an upset," said the Dutchman. "I definitely owe this win to my preparation for the cyclo-cross, which I'm going to concentrate from now on. I've made my choice."

Tinkoff team rider Ignatiev, who won Olympic track gold in Athens at the tender age of 19, said his preparation for the worlds had been compromised by muscular problems in his legs. In the circumstances, silver was welcome.

"It's a great result for me, especially as the gap to Lars is not so huge," said Ignatiev, who also won the silver medal in the category last year.

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