While Boonen's parents were celebrating with their son in Madrid, the party was on again in his home town in Belgium, too. The people in Tom's hometown of Balen are getting used to the festivities put on for their golden son, but they don't seem to mind, and like before, it seemed the whole town was out on the streets celebrating Tom's win. By 5pm, the St-Andriessquare was filled with people and beer was flowing abundantly.
Grandpa Boonen was the happiest old man on that square, and was interviewed by the Belgian television, surrounded by hundreds of fans. "I'm speechless, can't find the right words," he said. "Congratulations Tommeke! Man, how my heart was racing when I saw Tom flying towards the finish line. Really not a good thing for someone with a weak heart; luckily I've got a pacemaker so I can handle a bit of emotion!"
Girlfriend Lore was reserved and calm as always: "Tom, have a good party, but don't drink too much hey" she laughed. "I realise it's going to be so hectic in the coming days. I expect us to be answering one phone call after the other again. Really, sometimes it's really unbearably busy. Some people are not happy about Tom thinking about moving to Monaco, but something has to happen if we want to keep some peaceful moments in our life."
Grandma Boonen was being the typical worried grandmother: "This is a gift from God. I just hope that Tom doesn't get too tired now, because he has to be operated on Tuesday. It's not a big operation, but anyway, you never know."
Courtesy Sabine Sunderland