I haven’t been doing really cycling-centric posts recently, but seeing Tom Boonen win Flanders today got me pretty amped. It is a tough thing in cycling to go in as the overwhelming favorite and come through with the goods. Tommeke was born for these races (keep your grand tours, this is the most exciting racing of the year) and continues to prove it.
Quick story… Back in 2001, I got the last minute call up to ride Redlands. I think I had one day notice, so I went in on Monday to my new job and told them I needed the rest of the week off! It was a little bigger in stature then, at 6 days and a spot on the UCI calendar, so a couple big teams were there (Postal and Lotto, I think). I was only 23 and Boooner is a couple years younger than me. He was a first year pro with EPostal and didn’t draw that much attention, I think he was 2nd to Gord Fraser on a sprint stage.
Long story short, a few weeks later he wound up on the podium at Roubaix…and the rest, as they say is history.
I have my own awesome stories about how I came to be on the team for that race, and getting taken out by a specator in the feedzone, but suffice to say my career path and Booooonen’s took slightly different directions!
Anyway, coke habit and all, I’m a big fan of the guy and I wouldn’t bet against him for Roubaix.