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"Physically, I can definitely still win De Ronde. I have no doubts about that. If I did not believe that, I would have retired. Then I would have said: 'I have had enough. I have had bad crashes and don't have the courage...

Photo: Sirotti


08.01.2016 @ 20:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Boonen still has a burning desire to shine in the classics. "I won't do De Ronde and Roubaix to finish second or third," Boonen told Sporza at the training camp in Calpe. "Winning is still the most important."


Three months after his crash in the Abu Dhabi Tour, Tom Boonen is again his old self. "I feel very good," Boonen told Sporza.


"But it remains to be seen how it will be in the races. Physically, I don't suffer much from the crash. Only my hearing is a little damaged.


"I feel that I still dare to take risks. I don't have fear on the bike. But I also have to go through the wall in the races.


"But if I can continue to do like I do now, I think I will be ready for the classics.


"And hopefully I can have a season without crashing. That's been impossible since 2012 and it would be a victory in itself. But you can never rule out bad luck in advance."


Boonen has mainly red targeted the øholy cycling week'. "April 3 (Tour of Flanders) and April 10 (Paris-Roubaix) are the two most important days of my spring.


"Physically, I can definitely still win De Ronde. I have no doubts about that. If I did not believe that, I would have retired. Then I would have said: 'I have had enough. I have had bad crashes and don't have the courage to return.'


"But I refuse to end my career after that trap. I want to do something in the races. But I do not ride to finish second or third. Winning is still the most important. "


Will Boonen retire immediately after a big classic win? "If I win Paris-Roubaix, I will not retire automatically. We will have to see."



Boonen will be part of a strong Etixx-QuickStep in the classics. "Teammates like Terpstra and Stybar certainly do not have to wait for me.


"Tony (Martin, ed.) was looking for a new challenge and found it in the classics. He can certainly can handle Paris-Roubaix. In that race, Tony don't have to learn anything.


"But in the other classics he needs another two years to get to know the roads and climbs. Tony is one of the biggest engines in the peloton, and I believe that he will succeed in the classics."



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