Tom Boonen


Tom Boonen

Infobox Cyclist
ridername = Tom Boonen


image_caption = Boonen at the 2005 Tour de France
fullname = Tom Boonen
nickname = Tommeke
Tornado Tom
Torpedo Tom
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1980|10|15
country = BEL
height = height|m=1.93
weight = convert|82|kg|lb st|abbr=on
currentteam = Quick Step
discipline = Road
role = Rider
ridertype = Classics specialist
Sprinter
protourrank =
amateurteams =
amateuryears =
proyears = 2002
2003-2004
2005-
proteams = US Postal Service
Quick Step-Davitamon
Quick Step-Innergetic
majorwins = Tour de France, points jersey (2007) plus 6 stages
Vuelta a España (2 Stages)
Paris-Roubaix (2005, 2008)
Ronde van Vlaanderen (2005, 2006)
Gent-Wevelgem (2004)
updated = 2008-04-13

Tom Boonen (born on October 15, 1980 in Mol) is a Belgian professional road bicycle racer who won the 2005 World Road Race Champion. He is considered a single-day road race specialist with a strong finishing sprint. His personality and looks, combined with his successes, also turned him into Belgium's main male sports idol of the mid-2000s.

Career overview

At the start of 2002 Boonen rode for the US Postal Service team, finishing third in Paris-Roubaix after an early breakaway. Fellow Belgian rider Johan Museeuw had escaped off the front of the race to a solo victory, and team captain George Hincapie crashed in a slippery section of the course leaving Boonen to ride for himself. Boonen's performance in the race compelled Museeuw - his childhood hero - to publicly declare Boonen his natural successor. [cite web
title = News for April 16, 2002 - Boonen "the next Museeuw"
publisher = cyclingnews.com
date = April 16, 2002
url = http://cyclingnews.com.au/news/?id=2002/apr02/apr16news
accessdate=2008-01-29
]

However, Boonen was not completely happy at US Postal, claiming he did not get enough chances to ride for himself. Towards the end of the year he announced he would leave the team, despite being under contract, and joined Quick Step-Davitamon at the start of 2003. [cite web
title = News for January 26, 2003 - Boomin' Boonen comes to Adelaide
publisher = cyclingnews.com
date = January 26, 2003
url = http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2003/jan03/tdu03/?id=news/jan26boonen
accessdate=2008-01-29
] The 2003 season, however, did not go well for Boonen, who saw lacklustre performance due to fatigue and a knee injury. In this season Museeuw was the undisputed team leader for the spring classics campaign.

The 2004 season saw Boonen rise up to the challenge to win the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, the classic race Gent-Wevelgem and the Grote Scheldeprijs. In addition, he also won two stages of the Tour de France including the prestigious final stage in Paris, just as Museeuw did years ago.

2005 - Winning Ronde, Roubaix and Worlds

2005 was the year in which Boonen firmly established himself as a competitor on the world stage. Winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, and finishing second in the Omloop "Het Volk" (behind teammate Nick Nuyens), he stamped his authority on the cobbled Spring Classics. Boonen also became the first cyclist in history to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, and the World Cycling Championship in the same season.

In his Ronde van Vlaanderen victory Boonen was considered the strongest sprinter in the final group of riders. However, instead of waiting for the final moment, he attacked a few kilometers from the finish to the surprise of other riders in the group, and stayed away for a solo victory. One of the other riders in the peloton, Erik Dekker, afterwards declared that "I'm happy that I am near the end of my career, since with a cyclist like Boonen the spring classics will be rather boring the coming years". [cite web
title = Parijs-Roubaix: Boonen, amper 24 jaar, nu al ontzagwekkend
publisher = volkskrant.nl (Dutch)
date = April 11, 2005
url = http://www.volkskrant.nl/sport/article196306.ece
accessdate=2008-06-04
] In his Paris-Roubaix victory, he entered the Roubaix velodrome in the leading trio, and waited until the last moment before launching a sprint that saw him beat American George Hincapie and Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha.

In the Tour de France, he won the second and the third stage. In this edition, Boonen claimed the green jersey after the second stage. However, he was forced to retire from the race after stage 11, after multiple crashes. The jersey was reliquished to Norwegian Thor Hushovd, who held on for the rest of the tour, becoming the eventual winner. On September 25 he became the twenty-first Belgian World Champion after the World Cycling Championships in Madrid. A six-man breakaway was reeled in in the final straight by the group that he was in, before he powered home ahead of Alejandro Valverde. He is the first Belgian since Museeuw, in 1996, to wear the rainbow jersey. With these victories he secured second place in the overall standings of the 2005 UCI ProTour.

At the end of the year Boonen won several awards: Kristallen Fiets (Crystal Bicycle), Vélo d'Or (Golden Bicycle), Trofee voor Sportverdienste (Trophy For Sporting Merit), Belgian Sportsman of the year and Belgian Sports Personality of the Year.

2006 season

In 2006, Boonen again had an incredible start of the season, highlighted by winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen again.

After the incredible start, Boonen had a disappointing Tour of Belgium. Before the start of the 2006 Tour de France, he claimed that he considered himself the strongest and smartest sprinter. However, he did not win a stage in the first week and found himself outclassed by the speed of Robbie McEwen and the tactics of Oscar Freire.POV-statement|date=January 2008 In spite of this, he was able to claim the yellow jersey for the first time in his career, but lost it in the first time trial to time trial specialist Sergei Honchar.

Boonen abandoned the Tour de France during the 15th stage - 187 km from Gap to l'Alpe d'Huez - when he was unable to reach the summit of the Col du Lautaret. According to the team manager, Boonen lost a lot of weight during the Tour, and got a much needed rest period where he was able to regain it.

With regained strength, at the Eneco Tour of Benelux he won three stages. However, he was unable to defend his world title at the UCI Road World Championships, held on a circuit that was less flat than in Madrid 2005, and lost his title to Quick Step-Innergetic teammate Paolo Bettini, finishing ninth.

2007 season

In his 2007 season, Boonen went off to a great start again by winning five stages at the Tour of Qatar and finished second overall after teammate Wilfried Cretskens. He later won several local Flemish races like Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, but failed to win any classics. His best effort in that respect was a 3rd place in Milan-Sanremo, resulting in an overall slightly disappointing spring season.

Next Boonen took part in the Tour de France. In the absence of main rival Alessandro Petacchi, and after an early injury to Robbie McEwen, he met expectations by winning two stages (stages 6 and 12), and winning the Maillot vert competition. It was the first Belgian green jersey since Eddy Planckaert's in 1988.

2008 season

Boonen began his 2008 season by winning four stages and the overall and points classifications in the Tour of Qatar. In the Ronde van Vlaanderen, his first main goal of the season, he showed good form but took on a defensive role when his teammate Stijn Devolder escaped and subsequently won. The week after, he outsprinted Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan in the final 500m to win the Paris-Roubaix. On June 10, 2008, several sources claimed that Boonen was negotiating with Bouygues Télécom about a contract, which sporting director Jean-René Bernaudeau confirmed. The move to Bouygues would involve two or three riders going with him, with the names of Wilfried Cretskens and Kevin Hulsmans frequently named [cite news
url=http://sporza.be/cm/sporza.be/wielrennen/080610_boonen_bouygues
title=Boonen is negotiating with French team Bouygues
language=dutch
date=2008-06-10
publisher=sporza.be
] . On that same day though, it was revealed that Boonen had tested positive for cocaine in a test on May 26. Since this was outside competition, Boonen does not face sanctions by the UCI or WADA. During a press conference the day after, he offered his apologies and team manager Patrick Lefevere stated that, since these were considered difficulties of a private nature, team Quick Step maintained its confidence in him. Despite the absence of official sanctions, Boonen was immediately barred from the upcoming Tour of Switzerland and later from the Tour de France. [cite news
url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gd1Z4lZt9KeuTey0Ml33U-B7wCIw
title=Boonen participation in Tour de France to be decided: Ouick Step
language=English
date=2008-06-11
publisher=afp.google.com
] [cite news
url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jxwWIhZ6kC1VbnHNkea3oWGXJonQD9180C7G1
title=Former world champion Tom Boonen barred from Tour de France
language=English
date=2008-06-11
publisher=afp.google.com
]

Personal life

Boonen has been living in Monaco since late 2005.

Palmares

;2002: Volta a Catalunya:: 1st, Stage 1: International Uniqua Classic:: 1st, Stage 2: Wilrijk (derny Criterium): 3rd, Paris-Roubaix;2003: Tour of Belgium:: 1st, Stage 3;2004: 1st, Gent-Wevelgem: 120th, Overall, Tour de France (GT):: 1st, Stage 6 (Bonneval to Angers):: 1st, Stage 20 (Montereau to Paris): 1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen: 1st, Grote Scheldeprijs: 1st, Overall, Tour de Picardie:: 1st, Points Classification:: 1st, Stage 1:: 1st, Stage 2: Deutschland Tour:: 1st, Stage 2:: 1st, Stage 7: 3rd, Overall, Tour of Qatar:: 1st, Points Classification:: 1st, Young Rider Classification:: 1st, Stage 2: Vuelta a Andalucía:: 1st, Stage 1: Ster Elektrotour:: 1st, Prologue:: 1st, Stage 1: Circuit Franco-Belge:: 1st, Stage 3:: 1st, Stage 4: Tour of Britain:: 1st, Stage 3: Draai van de Kaai Roosendaal: GP Rik Van Steenbergen: thirty 3th Nacht van Peer: forty 3nd Mijl van Mares: Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde;2005: flagiconUCI Road World Championships - Road Race – Madrid, Spain: Tour de France (GT):: 1st, Stage 2, (Challans to Les Essarts):: 1st, Stage 3, (La Châtaigneraie to Tours): Paris-Nice (PT):: 1st, Stage 1:: 1st, Stage 2: 1st, Paris-Roubaix (PT): 1st, Ronde van Vlaanderen (PT): 1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen (1.HC): 1st, Overall, Tour of Belgium (2.1):: 1st, Stage 1:: 1st, Stage 2: 4th, Overall, Tour of Qatar (2.1):: 1st, Points Classification (Silver Jersey):: 1st, Stage 1:: 1st, Stage 2: 10th, Overall, Tour de Picardie (2.2):: 1st, Stage 2: 1st, Ronde van Made, Criterium: 1st, Na Tour Broker Criterium: 1st, Acht van Chaam: 1st, Criterium Herentals: 1st, Derny Criterium Antwerpen;2006: 1st, Doha International GP in Qatar: 1st, Overall, Tour of Qatar:: 1st, Points Classification:: 1st, Stages 1, 2, 3 and 5: 1st, Stage 5, Vuelta a Andalucía: 1st, Stages 1, 2 and 4, Paris-Nice: 1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen: 1st, Ronde van Vlaanderen: 2nd, Paris-Roubaix: 1st, Grote Scheldeprijs: 1st, Stages 2 and 3, Tour of Belgium: 1st, Veenendaal-Veenendaal: 1st, Stage 1, Tour de Suisse: Tour de France:: (overall leader) in Stage 3-6:: (points leader) in Stage 3: Eneco Tour of Benelux:: 1st, Stage 1 from Wieringerwerf to Hoogeveen:: 1st, Stage 3 from Beek to Westmalle:: 1st, Stage 5 from Hasselt to Balen: 1st, Stage 6, Tour of Britain from Greenwich to The Mall;2007: 2nd, Overall, Tour of Qatar::1st, Points Classification:: 1st, Stages 1 (TTT), 2, 3, 4, and 6:Vuelta a Andalucía::1st, Stage 4: 3rd, Omloop "Het Volk": 1st, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: 3rd, Milan-Sanremo: 1st, Dwars door Vlaanderen: 1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen: Tour de France:: (points leader) in Stage 3-5, 6-20:: (points classification) winner:: 1st, Stage 6 (Semur-en-Auxois to Bourg-en-Bresse):: 1st, Stage 12 (Montpellier to Castres);2008: 1st, Overall, Tour of Qatar::1st, Points Classification::1st, Stages 1 (TTT), 2, 3 and 6: 1st, Stage 2, Tour of California: 1st, Paris-Roubaix: 2nd, Scheldeprijs: 1st, Stage 5, Tour of Belgium: 1st, Stage 4, Ster Elektrotoer: 1st, Stage 7, Österreich Rundfahrt: 1st, Stage 1, Tour de Wallonie: 1st, Stage 1, Eneco Tour: 1st, Stage 4, Eneco Tour: 1st, Stage 3, Vuelta a España: 1st, Stage 16, Vuelta a España

ee also

* List of doping cases in cycling

References

External links

* [http://www.tomboonen.be Official site]
* [http://www.quickstepcycling.com/ Quick.Step-Innergetic Cycling Team]
* [http://cyclocosm.com/2006/04/tom-boonen-tornado-or-strong-breeze/ Criticism for lack of competitors]
* [http://www.cyclingpost.com/profiles/quickstep/article_001324.shtml Tom Boonen profile]

Persondata
NAME= Boonen, Tom
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Road bicycle racer
DATE OF BIRTH= 1980-10-15
PLACE OF BIRTH=Mol, Belgium, Belgium
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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