Wilfried "fitte" Peeters (Quick.Step team director) was full of praise for his rider Tom Boonen, who will be clad in the rainbow colours in Quick.Step next season. "Tom's got so many nice qualities, but his most beautiful trait? That is that he never has one bad word to say about his colleagues," Peeters told the Belgian press after Sunday's race. "It's his charisma, and with that, he charms the whole team. That's why the other Belgian riders went through the fire for him today. They all pulled the cord for him. That's another characteristic: Tom creates that unity. While a super Van Petegem rode a pursuit like only he can ride, Tom was gliding along comfortably in the second group. Tom was the only sprinter able to do so, because Tom is more than just a fast man.
"When he rode his first tour I predicted what would come to him. That he would start disliking journalists, that sometimes all those hectic situations would drive him nuts. He had to admit I was right later on.
"Tom can do a whole lot as a rider, but as a human being he'll have to learn to say no from time to time. Everyone will want a piece of him, even more than before. He always wants to please everyone, give every person what they long for. But he can't do this any longer, not if he wants to keep performing at this level.
"We are talking about the absolute top in cycling here. Tom is super, to me all the more because he did all this in one year, after an operation which could have taken him off the bike permanently. He put three goals before him and he reached them all. World class!"
"The words his mum spoke: 'what now, Fitte [Peeters' nickname], what now? I'm afraid of all the fuss that will follow!' Those words summarize everything. Luckily Tom will always be himself, just Tom. It's only a fact that he's got something more than other mortals."