"Maybe I'll have to skip Gent-Wevelgem in future"
It's been a turbulent last few days for Tom Boonen. In between winning Vlaanderen's mooiste last Sunday, riding yesterday's semi-classic Gent-Wevelgem, numerous press conferences and the odd bit of sensationalism, with the Belgian press wanting to ignite some fire between him and Alessandro Petacchi, the world champion has little time for recuperation.
"During the first passage of the Kemmel I already felt that I didn't have the legs to win," Boonen admitted to HNB. "Vlaanderen was still in my legs, but on Sunday I'll be the one to beat again.
"The second time we went over the Kemmel I sat in the back and didn't even push anymore. I already predicted that there was little chance of me being good here. It would have been a shock if I still didn't have that performance of Sunday in the system. It's the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the hardest one-day race there is. Maybe I have to consider not riding Gent-Wevelgem in the future; I'm only human," he said.
"Gent-Wevelgem was still a stressful day for me, and the 30 races that preceded it are starting to take their toll. Yes, I'll be happy when the Scheldeprijs is over and done with. I think I'll drink a few beers after... actually, a lot."
The end of his spring campaign may be in sight, but Boonen is still hunting for more wins: "It's not that I suddenly can't motivate myself enough. But I won't be doing too much for the rest of the week," he said, planning to go for a light spin today before scouting the parcours of 'the Hell' one last time on Friday. "But that last bit is really only to please the photographers," he joked.
Courtesy Sabine Sunderland