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Boonen laments close marking in Omloop and Kuurne

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Tom boonen (Quick Step) ahead of the peloton

Tom boonen (Quick Step) ahead of the peloton (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) try to hold off the peloton in the final kilometres.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) try to hold off the peloton in the final kilometres. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) bridged across to Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) with 5km remaining.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) bridged across to Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) with 5km remaining. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen (Quickstep)

Tom Boonen (Quickstep) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has lamented that he was a marked man in both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but reiterated that he would rather win in April than in February.

“It mustn’t be forgotten that our true objectives are later in the year,” Boonen told La Dernière Heure. “But it’s always the same thing. If I move a finger, I have half the peloton on my back watching me, while lads like Langevald or Flecha can escape without even really attacking, just by accelerating a little.”

Ultimately, however, Boonen was philosophical about the close attention he received from his peers and explained that getting used to racing on the cobbles again is more important than winning on the opening weekend of the Belgian season.

Boonen made a surprise attack in the finale of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne rather than playing his hand in the sprint, while he was one of the main aggressors on the Taaienberg during Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but suffered from a relative lack of collaborators.

“I thought my acceleration on the Taaienberg would provoke a reaction from some riders and cause a first selection,” Boonen said. “But nobody followed up and I soon understood that there was no point in persisting.”

Boonen’s next major rendezvous will come at Tirreno-Adriatico (March 9-15), as he fine-tunes his preparation for Milan-San Remo.

 


 

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.