Boonen with his eye on renewed Spring Classic success

Can't choose between Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders

Don't ask Tom Boonen to choose whether he would rather win Paris-Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders. “I love them equally. It would be like choosing between Mom and Dad,” he says. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider said that he is over the spate of injuries that have thrown him back the last few years and is ready “to be strong for the Spring Classics”.

Finally recovered from the knee problems which had plagued him in 2010, Boonen opened his 2011 campaign by winning the first stage of the Tour of Qatar. The spring looked promising as he won Gent-Wevelgem for the second time, but those proved to be his only wins all season.

The year went further downhill as he abandoned the Tour de France with a concussion and the Vuelta a Espana with a broken scaphoid, the latter costing him his chance in the world championships.

“As for injuries, they are overcome,” he told “This winter, in addition to my work on the bike, I have increased training in the gym. In the last two years I have had long periods of inactivity that made me lose my best physical tone, which I have now recovered. So I think I'll be stronger.”

That will make him ready for his beloved Spring Classics. “I cannot choose a single race. I'm going to train to be strong for the Spring Classics and be able to win any of them," he said. Even picking between Paris-Roubaix (which he won in 2005, 2008 and 2009) and the Tour of Flanders (which he won in 2005 and 2006) is impossible.

“Those two are the most important races of the year. It would be a success to win either one of them. I cannot choose one or the other. For me they are at the same level. I love them equally. It would be like choosing between Mom and Dad.”

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