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Boonen aims big

Tom Boonen wins a stage of the 2005 Tour of Qatar, the first of many victories in a stellar year.

Tom Boonen wins a stage of the 2005 Tour of Qatar, the first of many victories in a stellar year. (Image credit: AFP)

World champion Tom Boonen is aiming for a big Classics triple to add to his 2005 double of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian speedster told Sporza TV that he his has one big dream: to win Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in one and the same season.

"I know that is huge, but I don't dream small," said Boonen. "I've remained the same human after I won the world title; but physically I have become stronger. I have matured; get to my ideal weight easier, the muscles are co-operating and the tests don't lie."

Boonen's Quickstep - Innergetic contains a few other useful riders such as Paolo Bettini, but it seems likely that the team's focus in 2006 will be on delivering Boonen to the line. The team's new recruits have been enlisted with that in mind. "I'm expecting a lot from the new riders Steven de Jongh, Kevin Van Impe, Geert Verheyen and Matteo Tosatto," said Boonen. "They can help me well in the sprint and in the sprints."

Boonen's huge success in 2005 has led to another ambition, though it's far less likely to come true than his aim of a major Classics trio. "Another thing I long for is to walk the streets here in Belgium unrecognised; but I'm afraid that's not possible anymore," he said. "Fact is I don't really like to be in the spotlight."

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