Boonen comments on the final stage

The sidelined Quick.Step sprinter Tom Boonen spoke on Sporza's post-Tour show on Sunday evening...

The sidelined Quick.Step sprinter Tom Boonen spoke on Sporza's post-Tour show on Sunday evening about the final stage. "The weather made the stage today dangerous," said Boonen, who also commented on his compatriot Philippe Gilbert's pre-Champs Elysées attack, which was chased down by the Discovery Channel team. "Philippe Gilbert likes to attack and that's OK, but what he did today was quite inappropriate I think. Well, I wouldn't have done it anyway. It's violating the unwritten laws of respect in cycling. If he had attacked once they reached the Champs Elysées, no-one would have had problem with that."

Boonen paid tribute to the aggressive Kazakh national champion Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile), who defied the sprinters to win the final stage. Boonen himself won this stage last year. "It was nice seeing Vino win today," said Boonen. He's one of the greatest riders in the peloton, very classy. It feels different to win that last stage on the Champs Elysées. It's special because you have gotten through three tough weeks of racing. You are happy you got to Paris to start with, and then win, that's fantastic."

As for the overall winner, Boonen, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, said, "Lance is a complicated man. No great champion is an easy person. He's super focused and dedicated. It's true we had some heated emails going back and forth when I left the team. But it's characteristic for Lance to have forgotten about that quite quickly. Now, we chat again like we used to; just small talk, about cars and things.

"Lance had already done so much more than what anyone did at a young age; he was World Champion in his early twenties. He's always been there before his illness. After beating cancer he just became stronger, he is now 12 kilos lighter then when he started his career!"

Unfortunately, "Tornado Tom" was unable to contest the green jersey in Paris, as he pulled out of the Tour before Stage 12. "To have to leave the Tour injured was very painful for me, in every way. I was in a foul mood the day after. I didn't think too much about the lost chance for green and stuff; it was no use anyway. I was just worrying about my knee. But once that started getting better again; I stopped being grumpy, the Tour was already far behind me at that stage.

"I'm now going to prepare for the World Championships, and I don't think that riding seven stages less than planned in the Tour will make much of a difference there."

Back to top