Tom Boonen will be at the start of the Scheldeprijs today, but it remains to be seen if the World Champion has fully recovered from the effort of last Sunday's demanding Paris-Roubaix. But Tom is not one to let an opportunity to add yet another race to his already impressive palmares for this season lie.
"I'll ride to win," Boonen told Het Laatste Nieuws. "I do that in every race I start. Otherwise it would be wiser for me to stay away from Schoten (Scheldeprijs). We have a strong team and in front of my home crowd I'm super motivated. A sprint is OK, but not a must. There are other guys in this team who deserve to win once themselves.
"Cretskens and me, both of us going to the finish," added Hulsmans jokingly, "or one of our fresh guys, Weylandt, Verheyen, Rosseler, De Jongh... Who knows, Tom might ride the last kilometres flat out for one of them."
Wilfried Peeters says the team is not going to try and control the race. "We won't take the weight of the race for once. We'll save our power; Tom for sure. It has been a long time since he felt that knackered after a race, he told me last Sunday. Monday he had his strained muscles worked on for an hour and a half. He'll quickly know how the legs feel."
After today's race, the QuickSteppers who have been active during the last couple of months can enjoy some well-earned rest. To ride in service of the World Champion is demanding, physically and mentally. "I'm going to mow the lawn for the first time in twelve years," Hulsmans grinned
Cretskens is looking forward to some time off also. "Absolutely. After all we've been at it since Qatar. If you head to the starting line with Tom, you know it is to win. Then you automatically raise the bar for yourself. If I have a beer for every kilometre I did so far, I'll be seriously drunk," he joked.
"A week and a half doing nothing. Recharge the batteries, hang out. And give each other some space; we won't be visiting Tom at his place in Monaco. I'm going to enjoy the simple things in life. Have a beer with my friends, something to eat, just enjoy my couch, as long as it has got nothing to do with racing."
Cyclingnews will be covering the 94th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen live from 14:30 CEST/08:30 EDT (USA east)/05:30 PDT (USA west)/22:30 AEST (Australia east).