For Tom Boonen, this will be his final participation at the Tour of Flanders, a race on which he left an indelible mark ever since his first win, as a 24-year-old, back in 2005.
Since then, he racked up two more triumphs joining the elite club of riders who took three victories at the race which many consider to be the most difficult in the world.
“I had a little bit of misfortune in February, crashing and then being sick, but that was the only setback. I had some good results in E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, my shape is improving, so we’ll just see how things will unfold. I can’t say I’m emotional yet and not even nervous, because the pressure is always the same ahead of these races, but what I can say is that I’m confident in my shape”, said Tom Boonen.
“I would have liked better form heading into Sunday, but I’m good enough to play a significant role,” added Boonen. “I will try to be present in the final as deep as possible with the riders fighting for victory.”
“Greg [Van Avermaet] comes out as a very loud favourite. With Philippe I drove alone Harelbeke — he was really good. Sagan is not riding bad, but is not so super — he is not at the level of Greg.”
“I like Oliver Naesen. I cannot quite call him a candidate for winner, but you can keep an eye on him him more closely.”
After Flanders Boonen will turn his attention to his main goal, Paris-Roubaix. “Next week I’ll be back in my playground. In Paris-Roubaix, anything can happen.”
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