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Boonen 'says thanks' with final victory salute in Belgium - Gallery

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Boonen salutes the crowd at the end of the race at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.

Boonen salutes the crowd at the end of the race at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Belgium fans love Tom Boonen

Belgium fans love Tom Boonen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Singer Echelpoel entertains at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.

Singer Echelpoel entertains at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen opens a gift from his Quick-Step teammates

Tom Boonen opens a gift from his Quick-Step teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen shows off the "King Boonen" helmet, a gift from his Quick-Step teammates

Tom Boonen shows off the "King Boonen" helmet, a gift from his Quick-Step teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen admires the "King Boonen" helmet, a gift from his Quick-Step teammates

Tom Boonen admires the "King Boonen" helmet, a gift from his Quick-Step teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Johan Museeuw shows off his winner's bouquet

Johan Museeuw shows off his winner's bouquet
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Phlippe Gilbert attacks at the "Tom Says Thanks' event

Phlippe Gilbert attacks at the "Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jurgen Roelandts on the move at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Jurgen Roelandts on the move at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan gets serious at the 'Tom says Thanks' event

Peter Sagan gets serious at the 'Tom says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen on the attack at the "Tom says Thanks' event

Tom Boonen on the attack at the "Tom says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rapper Jebroer entertains during the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Rapper Jebroer entertains during the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Phlippo Pozzato, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert and Philippe and Niki Terpstra

Phlippo Pozzato, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert and Philippe and Niki Terpstra
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Boonen salutes the crowd at the end of the race at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.

Boonen salutes the crowd at the end of the race at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Boonen addresses his fans at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Boonen addresses his fans at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen and family at the 'Tom says Thanks' event

Tom Boonen and family at the 'Tom says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen with his daughters Valetine and Jacqeline at the 'Tom says Thanks' event.

Tom Boonen with his daughters Valetine and Jacqeline at the 'Tom says Thanks' event.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Boonen gets into the spirit of his 'Tom says Thanks' event

Boonen gets into the spirit of his 'Tom says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Boonen salutes the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Boonen salutes the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event

Tom Boonen helps enterrtain the crowd at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen with Yves Lampaert and Maarten Wynants

Tom Boonen with Yves Lampaert and Maarten Wynants
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Boonen with his parents, Andre and Agnes

Boonen with his parents, Andre and Agnes
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Tom Boonen posted a final victory salute Saturday in Belgium at the 'Tom Says Thanks' event that took place at the provincial recreation zone Zilvermeer in his hometown of Mol with a final set of races that included past riders and present stars of cycling.

Among those gathered for Boonen's celebration were world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia) and a handful of Boonen's Quick-Step teammates, among others. 

The former professionals took the course first for a 40 minute race, with Johan Musseuw taking the win by millimetres ahead of Eric Zabel. Alessandro Ballan was third, followed by Kevin Hulsmans.

Boonen and the composite cast of current riders took off next, with Bert De Backer throwing out the first attack of the day, which was followed by Jürgen Roelandts, Kenny Dehaes and Petr Vakoc. Pieter Serry bridged to the lead group, but Sagan went to the front and reeled back the escapees. Boonen and Gilbert took off next, but the group brought them back quickly.

With 12 laps to go, Boonen attacked with Maarten Wynants, and again the group brought him back into the fold. Gilbert went next, and Sagan was quickly on his wheel. Marcel Kittel bridged with Pozzato and Boonen, and the final five-rider lead group was set.

In the finale, Boonen surged to the front to take the win, riding alone down the finishing straight and saluting his fans a final time as he made his way to the line. Sagan and Kittel came in next, followed by Gilbert and Pozzato.