“I still think I can win,” Boonen said at the media day during Etixx-QuickStep training camp . “If I didn’t, I would have stopped already.”
At 35, Boonen clearly has nothing to prove. He’s won the rainbow jersey, worn the yellow jersey, and won more northern classics than anyone riding in the peloton today. With three Flanders, four Roubaixs, and five Harelbekes, he is already considered one of the greatest classics riders ever.
Yet he’s still driven to train and race. Why? Because he says he loves it.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like it, and still didn’t believe I could win,” Boonen said. “I have thought about how nice it would be to not have to worry about weight, but I am still motivated. I don’t want to be sitting at a desk yet.”
“After the bad luck I’ve had the past three years, I deserve it,” he said. “I am working to be ready for those big races that I love.”
“I am not 100 percent right now, but I am about where I usually am this time of year,” Boonen said. “I will be ready for the big races. I’d love to win another Roubaix. I’ve already won it four times, more than I ever expected. It’s a race that’s given a lot to me, and I’d love to have another cobblestone [trophy].”
At 36, Boonen knows retirement is looming, but he’s not putting a date on it yet. The Belgian superstar can still draw a crowd. In what could be his final year — he isn’t giving too much away — more than 65 journalists showed up at the Etixx-Quick-Step media day, and at least half were Belgian.
FEATURED · NEWS
classic cobblestone Etixx-QuickStep Paris-Roubaix Tom Boonen