Museeuw predicts Boonen will win Roubaix and equal De Vlaeminck’s record of four victories
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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Museeuw predicts Boonen will win Roubaix and equal De Vlaeminck’s record of four victories

by Shane Stokes at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders
 
Believes that Gilbert will take the Tour of Flanders

Tom BoonenTriple Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Museeuw has predicted that his compatriot Tom Boonen could well win this year’s edition of the Hell of the North, believing that he has the form to equal the best-ever total of four victories in the race.

Museeuw said that he wasn’t concerned by Boonen’s showing in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where he rolled in at the back of the main bunch in 101st position.

“He knew he would not win, but he wanted to show himself. He will match the record of Roger De Vlaeminck in the cobbled Classic…you’ll see,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.

Boonen triumphed in Roubaix in 2005, 2008 and 2009. He came up against a brutally strong Fabian Cancellara last year and ended up only fifth, having also been beaten by the Swiss rider in the Tour of Flanders one week earlier. He then had a very disrupted remainder of the season because of a knee injury caused by a fall in the Tour of California, which was further aggravated by a crash in the Tour de Suisse.

Now fully recovered, he has been building form prior to the spring Classics. He has already notched up a win, taking a stage of the Tour of Qatar, although he and his Quick Step team are not longer as dominant in the Gulf race as they were previously. That may be a deliberate choice, though, as the quality of the field has improved in recent seasons.

Gilbert also looking good:

The Tour of Flanders will take place one week before Paris-Roubaix and there Museeuw said that he expects another Belgian to shine. Philippe Gilbert finished third in both 2009 and 2010, and he predicts that he will step up a notch and take the win. “After the opening weekend, our boys were far back from the front line, but I know better,” he said on Tuesday. “Gilbert has trained eight hours today in Monaco. He will be there, and he chooses the Ronde.”

Gilbert has already won two editions of the Giro di Lombardia and one of the Amstel Gold Race. He has set himself the career goal of winning all of the major Classics, leaving Milan-Sanremo, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on his target list.

The Omega Pharma Lotto rider has improved each season and there is a real sense that he will add to his palmares this spring.

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