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Boonen ready to begin 2007

2005 World Champion Tom Boonen is nearing the end of his off-season holiday and looking forward to the new season. "It is starting to tickle," said Boonen to Gazet van Antwerpen in regards to his excitement to be back into competition.

The 26 year-old Belgian of Quick-Step rider will begin training in earnest starting soon and has in mind that his 2007 season will follow similar lines to this year. "Everything will be the same. I will hope again to have 23 victories," continued Boonen. "Looking at those victories; I have to really go deep for the first six or seven and then the rest come easier thanks to the work of the team. Many people don't realize the hard work that the team does to bring me to the victory."

Boonen will once again be joined by Italian Paolo Bettini but this year there will also be added Belgian hard-man Peter Van Petegem and young-gun Gert Steegmans. "Everything will fall into its place," said Boonen regarding his teammates. "With the proper divisions of tasks you can avoid any misunderstandings."

The Belgian predicts his team will control the front end of affairs, like in previous years, through much of the early season racing. "From Qatar to Scheldeprijs, it is always our team that takes the initiative," noted Boonen. "Maybe we could stop this; Profit from others' work and win more. Would that be bad?"

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