By Monika Prell
Tom Boonen, until now the star of the season of 2007, commented during the Challenge of Mallorca to the Spanish newspaper AS that he admires Oscar Freire.
"I hope to see him a lot here these days. It's a pleasure to ride beside him because we [the cyclists] don't see him a lot," said Boonen. Due to various physical problems, Freire did not compete in as many races in the last year.
Boonen called Freire "the most talented cyclist of the world." The young Belgian star admires Freire "not only for his speed and his ability to get in on every sprint even if he does not have a strong team around him," but also for his specialization. "I win a lot, but I compete hundred days a year. Oscar competes thirty days and he wins world championships, the most important classics, and some stages of the Tour. I wish I could be like him!"
Boonen has his own take. "I don't believe in the theory that says that Freire were well, he would win more races. I think it is the opposite. Perhaps I have no possibility to surprise. Freire benefits from surprise, and he doesn't have legs that are so tired like mine." Boonen finished by saying, "Every cyclist has his own characteristics. From Oscar, they don't ask for more because he is like that.