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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for April 11, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

An interview with Tom Boonen

Boonen "concentrated, not nervous"

By Hedwig Kröner in Roubaix

Tom Boonen
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Winning an incredible triple this spring season with E3 Prijs Harelbeke, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) is currently revealing his real talents as a true Flandrian puncher. Last season, the cycling world hailed the 24 year-old as the next big sprinter alongside Alessandro Petacchi, but the Belgian has proven that his talent is much more versatile after the first part of this season. In a post-race press conference after the "Hell of the North", a rather satisfied Boonen explained the decisive moments of the race from his point of view.

"I think it was best for me to get rid of Michaelsen and Bäckstedt," he said. "The race is perfectly controllable with two guys, but with four guys attacking you it's hard. I knew I had to do everything I could at Carrefour de l'Arbre, and it was perfect: Flecha did the first effort, Michaelsen got dropped, afterwards Bäckstedt was 15 metres behind. My director sportif told me 'Bäckstedt is at 20 metres' and that's when I went à bloc. I knew if I got rid of him, Flecha and Hincapie would ride for sure. These guys were working for the podium all day. But I was a little bit afraid, I wasn't feeling so super anymore. I just kept up the pace at 45, 47 km/h for everybody to feel tired. Nobody wanted to attack, and in the finale I was super concentrated and I did a good sprint I think."

With this memorable victory achieved, Boonen will now take some time off to be able to concentrate on the next goals of his racing calendar. "I'm going on holidays now," he replied when asked where he would find the motivation for the rest of the season after achieving the rare Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix double. "That's how I'll find the motivation back for the Tour. But it's not only that [meaning the double] - I won Harelbeke, I won Flanders and Roubaix and those are the three races I wanted to win most. But I'm confident for the rest of the season, I have one objective left, or two: The Green jersey at the Tour and then maybe the World Championships."

Click here for the full interview

More Paris-Roubaix coverage

Full results, report & photos
Live report

Nine riders do the RVV/PR double

Nine riders have managed to win both the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix in the same year, with Tom Boonen becoming the latest. The first rider to do so was Swiss Henri Suter in 1923, and since then, only Belgians have pulled off the feat: Romain Gijssels (1932), Gaston Rebry (1934), Raymond Impanis (1954), Fred De Bruyne (1957), Rik van Looy (1962), Roger de Vlaeminck (1977), Peter van Petegem (2003) and Tom Boonen (2005).

Boonen tops ProTour rankings

After taking his second classic win in eight days, Tom Boonen has overtaken Alessandro Petacchi as the leader of the ProTour. The Quick.Step rider has 112 points, 19 more than Petacchi, who hasn't raced since Milan-San Remo. In third place is Oscar Freire (Rabobank) on 78 points, while Americans George Hincapie (Discovery) and Bobby Julich (CSC) sit in fourth and fifth place on 75 points.

Fassa Bortolo still leads the teams rankings, ahead of Davitamon-Lotto and Rabobank, while Spain has overtaken Italy at the top of the nations rankings, with Belgium in third place.

Rankings as of April 10, 2005

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                        112 pts
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             93
3 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                                   78
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team            75
5 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                         75
6 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                     70
7 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                    65
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole                                  55
9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                               51
10 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Illes Balears - Caisse D'epargne 43
1 Fassa Bortolo                                                      112 pts
2 Davitamon-Lotto                                                    106
3 Rabobank                                                           102
4 Team CSC                                                            99
5 T-Mobile Team                                                       94
6 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                                  80
7 Phonak Hearing Systems                                              76
8 Quick Step                                                          74
9 Saunier Duval - Prodir                                              68
10 Liquigas-Bianchi                                                   62
1 Spain                                                              257 pts
2 Italy                                                              245
3 Belgium                                                            214
4 Germany                                                            201
5 United States Of America                                           150
6 Australia                                                           62
7 Norway                                                              55
8 Netherlands                                                         47
9 Switzerland                                                         41
10 France                                                             32
Full rankings: ProTour, Teams, Nations

Van Petegem leads Davitamon-Lotto's injured list

Peter van Petegem will not be riding the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday, according to his Davitamon-Lotto team. He crashed at the halfway point of Paris-Roubaix yesterday, and apart from suffering bruising and abrasions, he also strained his right adductor muscle heavily. He is currently being treated by the team doctor and an osteopath, but will be off the bike for several days, meaning that he will not be fit in time for the Amstel.

Davitamon-Lotto's injured list also includes Wim Vansevenant, who crashed during the Ronde van Vlaanderen a week ago. He is slowly recovering from his injuries, which included a broken elbow. Gert Steegmans has been suffering from bad bronchitis, and will have lung and sinus x-rays done in Mensana today, to determine whether he can resume training. Finally, Serge Baguet, who crashed during the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, has made a quick recovery and is already able to do endurance training. He should be back racing fairly soon.

Armstrong makes impromptu race appearance

Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: Steve Cohen
Click for larger image

With the start of the Dodge Tour de Georgia just over a week away, Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) chose to keep his engine ticking over by competing in the Garrett Lemire Memorial GP in Ojai, California, USA on Sunday. The race was a 90 minute criterium held on a testing one mile circuit, and Armstrong was relatively active during the event. The GLMP was won by Harm Jansen (Helen's RPM), a retired pro who is working on his graduate thesis.

For results, report and plenty of photos, click here.

UCI appeal against Berden's sanction

The UCI is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try to increase the sanction imposed on Belgian cyclo-crosser Ben Berden, who tested positive and admitted taking EPO late last year. Berden was given a comparatively light 15 month sanction, and the UCI believes that it wasn't enough.

"I don't understand why the UCI want to get me," Berden reacted to VRT. "In contrast to a lot of others, I immediately admitted that I used EPO. I would have been better off staying silent. The UCI want to break me. After my 15 month suspension, I wanted to breathe new life into my career. But now, perhaps it's 'game over'. I'll go and work and benefit from life."

Traksel operated on

Dutch rider Bobbie Traksel ( has had to undergo an operation to remove the cartilage from his knee, according to ANP. Traksel has been unable to ride for several weeks because of the injury, and has been forced to miss the spring season. "I couldn't watch the Ronde van Vlaanderen [on TV]," said Traksel. "It was painful not being there. Paris-Roubaix yes, but that is not quite my race."

Traksel injured himself after crashing in the Etoile de Bessèges, and after physiotherapy and cortisone treatment had little effect, he chose to have the operation. He won't be able to train for another week and a half, but hopes to be back racing in six weeks time.

Symmetrics at Georgia

In its third year of existence, Canadian-based Symmetrics Cycling will be competing in the April 19-24 Dodge Tour de Georgia. The team will be lining up against six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his Discovery Channel team, along with 15 other professional teams.

"We are really excited to be invited to Georgia as it is like the Tour de France of North America," said Mark Cunningham, CEO of Symmetrics. "While this is great for our team and sponsors, it is also an amazing accomplishment for Canadian cycling as a whole. We are the only team from Canada competing in the race and to the best of my knowledge, never has an all Canadian team been invited to a race of this calibre. With our recent results at the Redlands Classic I think we are deserving of our spot on the start line and I know the riders are pretty excited."

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