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Boonen might not quite be the force he was...

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,780 Lives Here
edited February 2011 in Pro race
I took a few looks at Boonen's various sporza interviews, and the one that stood out was the following...

When asked "what do you secrectly dream of..." in the context of winning a classic, perhaps MS-R, Boonen responded with "retirement", and then went on to say how it comes up surprisingly quickly and it's something he's thinking about.

I think the press' and Levefre's mantra that the time off has given Boonen renewed ambition might be a bit off the mark and wishful thinking.

Seems to me like he's, at best, wanting to give it a couple more good goes. I think he finds the classics preparation mentally pretty tough (hence the err, mood enhancements...), and I think he was properly humbled for the first time last year on the Muur. He's not a guy who seems to take defeat well, especially like that.

It's a shame, but I don't think his heart is in racing as much as it was. Perhaps he's looking for a good legacy to end on, rather than drawing it out Coppi or Bartali style for the love of the sport...

Posts

  • Fat HeadFat Head Posts: 765
    He was only beaten by a superhuman Cancellara at Flanders last year so don't think he should be too tough on himself. Think he'll be there or thereabouts at Flanders again this year.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    Didn't he say after his first victory at the Ronde that he wanted to retire when he was 30?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,780 Lives Here
    iainf72 wrote:
    Didn't he say after his first victory at the Ronde that he wanted to retire when he was 30?

    I think he said a few things that year he regretted, but I don't think anyone took him seriously on that one.

    He certainly feels the strain of competition more than most.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,914
    It's not a hard and fast rule, but when sportsmen start 'dreaming' about retirement, they have a tendency to decline quite quickly, particularly if their already on their last big pay day.

    If hope this isn't the case with Tom, but he has seemed under motivated post-classics in recent years.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    RichN95 wrote:

    If hope this isn't the case with Tom, but he has seemed under motivated post-classics in recent years.

    Last year he was carrying an injury, wasn't he? I mean, he took 2nd in MSR and Flanders, and 5'th in Roubaix.

    Year before he had his "personal" (aka livin' the dream) problems....
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,914
    edited February 2011
    iainf72 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:

    If hope this isn't the case with Tom, but he has seemed under motivated post-classics in recent years.

    Last year he was carrying an injury, wasn't he? I mean, he took 2nd in MSR and Flanders, and 5'th in Roubaix.

    Year before he had his "personal" (aka livin' the dream) problems....

    Maybe I was being harsh, and I was only thinking of races after April. I was particularly thinking of the year (2009?) when he got a court ruling to get into the TdF and then didn't really seem to take part. If Cancellara does the same to him again in PR and RVV, I can see him losing interest completely.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • pedro118118pedro118118 Posts: 1,101
    iainf72 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:

    If hope this isn't the case with Tom, but he has seemed under motivated post-classics in recent years.

    Last year he was carrying an injury, wasn't he? I mean, he took 2nd in MSR and Flanders, and 5'th in Roubaix.

    Year before he had his "personal" (aka livin' the dream) problems....

    ...and that 5th place in Roubaix should be viewed in the context that he single-handedly tried to chase down FC for the last 50km and others took advantage of that exhaustion in the finale/sprint. He was the second-best rider in late March/early April, but was beaten by a fine rider at the very very top of his game. It may well be that FC never finds that kind of form again and this year, Garmin-Cervelo will surely gang-up and cover any trademark FC solo attacks, given their strength in depth. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hushovd win P-R and Haussler RVV.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,780 Lives Here
    edited February 2011
    Indeed. Quick-Step are not going to be a dominating force in either Roubaix or Flanders.

    Expect to see maybe 2 or at best 3 riders post Arenberg from Quick-Step left in the group that matters. I.e. Steegmans, Boonen, and perhaps Chavanel.

    There's a chance that Boonen can capitalise on having a big team to control things (cervelo-garmin) - rather than having to shake the group apart himself which is what ultimately undid him tactically in Roubaix.

    I'm expecting better things from Steegmans this year.

    I think he came up with a quote which went along the line of "having been away from Quick-Step I realised things there aren't actually that bad..."
  • pedro118118pedro118118 Posts: 1,101
    It will also be intersting to see how Devolder rides with the weight of expectation on him at Vacansoleil. Personally, I don''t think he gets the credit he deserves as a two-time winner or Flanders and if he does well this year, it will put to bed the (unfair) view that he only won, cos all the other big-guns were 'marked' by Boonen.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,780 Lives Here
    It will also be intersting to see how Devolder rides with the weight of expectation on him at Vacansoleil. Personally, I don''t think he gets the credit he deserves as a two-time winner or Flanders and if he does well this year, it will put to bed the (unfair) view that he only won, cos all the other big-guns were 'marked' by Boonen.

    Leukemans is the rider who stands most to gain from Devolder being at Vaconsolei. Even more than Devolder...
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