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Blog - Tom Boonen – The Legend

Tom Boonen – The Legend
By Mark Mar 29, 2017 10:48:00 AM Comments

On the 9th April this year Paris Roubaix takes place in Northern France for its 115th edition and for one rider in particular it will be something special. Win or lose, for Tom Boonen this race will mark the end of the road in his professional career, as he retires and hangs up his wheels. Boonen confirmed late last year that he planned on retiring after Paris Roubaix and this event seems a very fitting ending to his time in the peloton.

Boonen turned pro back in 2002 with the now illustrious USPS team and in his first year pro, finished an excellent third in his first professional version of Paris Roubaix. This result opened new doors for Boonen and he left USPS at the end of 2002 and joined the Belgian super team Quick Step. Boonen has stayed in this team (or versions of it) since and despite pressures and offers to leave, he has always remained loyal to Patrick Levere and Quick Step.

When looking at reviewing Boonen's career it hard to pick a real favourite moment, as he has won so many races and did so with such class and panache. Looking back over his career, there are however a number of real stand out moments, such as his 2005 season. The 2005 season saw Boonen win the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Tour de France stages and of course his world title in Madrid. Bearing in mind at this point he was still only 24 and this really does add extra kudos to his palmarès.

Aside from his phenomenal cycling success and all that goes with it, Boonen has also had his fair share of personal issues. His problems with alcohol and cocaine are well documented and in recent times he has also had more severe issues when his wife miscarried. In spite of all of this Boonen has managed to bounce back and even now as age begins to slowly catch up with him, he looks as strong and imposing as ever on his Specialized bike.

Win or lose in the coming weeks, Tom Boonen's star will shine forever bright in his native Belgium and it will be really interesting to see what he decides to do once the dust settles and he steps out of the bubble that is professional cycling. For many he will be remembered as one of the greats of the classics in the same mould as Sean Kelly or Johan Museum.

Thanks for the memories Tom and enjoy the future -

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Safe riding,

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