Boonen has it all

"Tom Boonen has got all the athletic qualities to be a great cyclist," Quick.Step soigneur Dirk Nachtergaele is full of praise for his rider, and expressed just that in the Tour section of Het Nieuwsblad. "No matter how big his wins have been this year, he's still the nice guy he was before. On top of that he's very charming. The boys in the team happily work for him, the ladies are falling for him, the youth can look up to him and the older people respect him."

Nachtergaele had Tom on the massage table at 8.15pm Friday evening and it wasn't easy to treat the sprinter's battered body. "He's got grazed patches of skin all over the left side of his body," Patrick Lefevere explained. "Especially his elbow and his 'bacon' are in a bad way. His green knicks were torn and the blood was seeping through the bandages. And then there's his back..."

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