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Lars Boom will hang up his 25mm tubulars next year in favor of a focus on gravel and mountain bike racing, according to Wielerflits.
The 2008 world cyclocross champion made the decision to return to dirt after his Roompot-Charles team folded, and though he hasn’t ruled out racing on the road in some capacity, it would be in service of his gravel and mountain bike aspirations.
“I have had a great and long road career on the road, with a number of great victories and podiums that I am proud of,” Boom said. “When my current team folded, there was an opportunity to shift my focus to a passion that I have cherished for some time. Those are gravel and beach races, as well as mountain bike marathons.”
Boom was also a U23 world time trial champion in 2007, and was a consistent presence at the front of classics races in recent years.
Boom isn’t the only road pro who believes he can make a living off gravel and other dirt racing. Peter Stetina recently announced his retirement from road racing with Trek-Segafredo and will race a gravel calendar in the US next season. Much of the EF-Education First squad will spend time off road next season as part of that team’s alternative racing calendar.