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Boonen: Paris Roubaix will be a war

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) arrives alone in Ninove more than one minute behind Cancellara.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) arrives alone in Ninove more than one minute behind Cancellara. (Image credit: Sirotti)

Tom Boonen went into the Tour of Flanders looking for his third victory, but instead had to accept second place behind Fabian Cancellara. “Of course I'd rather win,” the Quick Step rider said. “But Fabian is currently in one of the best periods of his life.” However he will look to reverse the result in Paris-Roubaix, which he said would be “a war” between Saxo Bank and Quick Step

The moment of truth in Flanders came on the Kapelmuur, with about 20 kilometres to go. The pair had broken away with some 40 kilometres to go on the Molenberg.

“It was no secret that this was the place to attack,” Boonen told “I had taken the lead to see what was happening. He didn't react very hard. When he passed me I had to drop. Cramps shot up my right leg. I hoped I would get my rhythm back again quickly but he took 20 seconds off of me in one kilometre. What should I do? Kill him?”

Boonen continued, “I was going 55 km/h down to Ninove, but he must have reached at least 60. Then you must resign yourself to the fact.”

The former world champion is now turning his attention to next weekend's Paris-Roubaix, which he has won three times, including the last two years. “I accept the situation. Sunday I have another chance. In recent years I have often shown that Paris-Roubaix is a little better for me.” .

Boonen has mixed expectations for the weekend, not knowing what the weather will be like, but knowing how the race will be. “I do not know what weather they predict. I've heard that it would be bad again on the weekend. We'll see. It promises to be war between Saxo Bank and Quick Step."

At least he still has his sense of humour. When asked about his streak of second places in Milan-San Remo, E3 Prijs Harelbeke and Tour of Flanders, he responded, “That means I am the most consistent rider in the world.”