Tom Boonen: 'I didn’t want to throw away 4 months work'
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Tom Boonen: 'I didn’t want to throw away 4 months work'

by Ben Atkins at 11:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

Tom BoonenDespite wearing dossard number 1 as the defending champion, Quick Step’s Tom Boonen had no qualms whatsoever about abandoning yesterday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race. The Belgian champion had gone into the race with the intention of repeating his two previous victories (2009 and 2007) but the horrendous weather conditions caused him, and many others to recosider.

"You always start a race with the ambition to get something good out of it," he told the Belgian media. "But it was a whole day of misery: rain, wind, holes in the road. And then the cold, eh. I was slowly freezing, and I knew that I’d never get warm."

Under those circumstances Boonen was forced to decide whether it was worthwhile continuing in the race.

"At that moment, I had to consider ‘what are the pros and cons?’” he explained, "and to ride on now had far more disadvantages than advantages."

The Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race is a prestigious Flemish semi-classic but it is by no means the main target for Boonen this spring. As a two time winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen and a three-time winner of Paris-Roubaix he is bidding to add a sixth victory in the cobbled classics in just over a month’s time.

Should Boonen win a third Ronde he would join his great mentor Johan Museeuw as a rider who has won both races three times; should he win a fourth Roubaix he would equal the outright record of wins in the Enfer du Nord, currently held by the legendary Roger De Vlaeminck.

"I did not want to work four months training to lose it all in a weekend,” said the 2005 World champion. “On some days it’s better for you to step off early rather than late. Only the winner gets to something from such a day, the rest of the finishers took many risks for nothing."


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