The Big Boonen cometh
By Anthony Tan in Les Essarts and Gabriella Ekström
After a superb Classics campaign and a solid buildup to the Tour de France, Tom Boonen has continued where he left off during the big one-day races and taken a commanding win in Stage 2 of the Tour. It's the continuation of an amazing year, where some things have changed but others have stayed the same - and that's the way he likes it.
When one saw Tom Boonen at the Tour de Suisse two weeks ago, he was a very different man. On the first stage, he was second to Française des Jeux's Bernhard Eisel, and then three days later, in the first real bunch sprint of the race, with an uphill finish like the one today, he finished fourth.
"Actually, I felt better at the Tour de Suisse than today," he said to Cyclingnews with a smile. "I just wasn't motivated. We rode for Michael [Rogers] all week, so for me, it was training."
That fourth stage was won by defending Tour de France green jersey champion Robbie McEwen, the Australian winning the stage with apparent ease as he steadily began working his way back to top form after a very successful Giro d'Italia, which saw him bag three stage wins in the space of a fortnight.
But back to Boonen. People began asking the question: can a man who has already won two of cycling's greatest monuments in one year re-motivate himself for what is according to most Belgians a lesser achievement - that being a stage win at the Tour de France?
It would appear the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
Click here for the full interview