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“If I’m honest, I will not be a big favourite for Sunday. I think we have to expect that everybody will be on his best level, hopefully me as well. I think if I’m like I was last week, then I’ll be able to be up ther...

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele


02.04.2016 @ 14:13 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Record holder for most wins in Flanders, Tom Boonen says he and his Etixx-QuickStep teammates are keen to right the wrongs of previous years to win their first Flanders title since Boonen himself won the race in 2012.


“If I’m honest, I will not be a big favourite for Sunday,” Boonen said to Cyclingnews. “But I think last week we saw a very strong team. Tactically I don’t think we made any error. It’s a week later now, and I think everyone is improving. I think we have to expect that everybody will be on his best level, hopefully me as well. I don’t know what’s fair to expect as a goal, but if I have to put a number on it: I think if I’m like I was last week, then I’ll be able to be up there in the final.”


Boonen has never been able to recapture his form of 2012, but that is mostly down to injuries and crashes, which actually ruled him out of two of the last three Classics campaigns heading into 2016.


“The last few years has been one big comeback, actually. But to come back after a skull fracture was very hard. It set me back much more than I thought. I needed much more work than I thought I would to get back on a decent level.”


Boonen actually thinks his best shot at a win may be in Roubaix a week tomorrow.


“I’ll give my maximum and it’s not that Flanders or Scheldeprijs are training rides, but for sure they’ll help me and Paris-Roubaix is the race that suits me best. The extra week might help.”


While Boonen’s big rival Fabian Cancellara made it known some time ago that this is his last season, Boonen says while he is still talking to his team about options moving forward, the Classics is not the time to announce his retirement.


“He chooses to say when he’s doing his last few races, but I don’t want to put the attention on it being the last time every time you get to the start line. I think there’s a time for everything but the time for saying goodbye is not at the Classics. Maybe you can talk about it later when the time is right. Everyone has his own opinion on this, and I think it differently than he does.”




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