Tom Boonen: “We have nothing to reproach ourselves for”
  May 21, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tom Boonen: “We have nothing to reproach ourselves for”

by Ben Atkins at 6:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Belgians proud of team tactics in Olympic road race despite missing out on the medals

tom boonenTom Boonen finished today’s Olympic road race on London’s iconic Mall in a disappointed 28th place, some 40 seconds behind Kazakh race winner Alexandre Vinokourov, but was largely pleased with the way that the Belgian team had race. Having put Jürgen Roelandts into the race’s early move, and with Philippe Gilbert and then Greg Van Avermaet managing to successfully bridge across later on, the team was among the most aggressive in the race.

Despite a solo attack from Gilbert on the penultimate lap of the Box Hill circuit however, the Belgians were unable to come away with a result, with Roelandts taking seventh place.

"I'm a bit disappointed, but all in all I think we have ridden a good race," Boonen told Belgian TV station Sporza shortly afterwards.

"Our team did little to reproach itself for,” he explained. “We did what we had to do. Phil, Greg and Jurgen were always in the breaks, and Jurgen was up there close to the podium. I felt really good. We were here for a medal, but unfortunately we were not successful."

With men up the road, Belgium was one of the many major nations that had no obligation to chase down any of the breaks, which allowed Boonen to relax in the peloton for most of the race. This heaped more pressure onto the Great Britain team, who were pushed into doing the vast majority of the work on the front.

“After my first attack with [Italy’s Vincenzo] Nibali on Box Hill I got the impression that, with a lot of the best riders, it was finished,” said Gilbert. “But with teams of five it’s difficult to control.”

The host nations overwhelming favourite for the race, World champion Mark Cavendish, was critical of the other countries that he felt were racing solely to deny him victory, but Boonen saw a flaw in the Great Britain tactics.

"They seemed a little too self-confident to me,” the former World champion said. “Everyone thought that the gap to the breakaway would be closed down, and I myself believed that they had everything under control.

“But they overestimated themselves,” he explained. “At some point in the finale was one of their guys was still fetching water, but you should never do that. Suddenly the gap was 20 seconds bigger and I think that was where they lost the race.”

Boonen finished second in the bunch sprint; he was beaten to the line by Germany’s André Greipel, but managed to outsprint Cavendish, who was then without his teammates.

Roelandts’ seventh place matches that of Mario Aerts in the Beijing race of 2008, but falls short of Axel Merckx’ bronze medal - something his legendary father never won - in Athens four years earlier. The last Belgian winner was André Noyelle in Helsinki, 1952, who took the gold ahead of teammate Robert Grondelaers in a Belgian one-two.

"I'm disappointed," said Roelandts. "When we came to the sprint for third place, I thought I could win, but I committed myself too early and I had nothing.”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC