Boonen: "Vuelta was camouflage"

"I didn't go to the Vuelta to win stages, but to work on my form. The Vuelta hasn't lessened my self-confidence... you can call it camouflage," said World's favourite Tom Boonen in the VUM newspapers.

"Anyway, I'm not that certain that it will finish in a mass sprint; [Alejandro] Valverde is going to drop some bombs. And if it ends up being a sprint, I'm not sure that Petacchi will get his Italian train going."

Boonen also believed the road race in Madrid will be a big lottery where a whole lot of luck will come in handy. "I have to confess: I prefer the double win of last spring [Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix] above a world title.

"The rainbow jersey would turn an already successful into a dream-season. But, the World Championships is a race everyone wants to win. I'm only 24 and will get more opportunities; but you can't start early enough... I do want to become World Champion one year, though."

On another note, the 24 year-old finds the reactions to changing his home base to Monaco surprising. "I don't understand the reaction here in Belgium. I just want to retain my sanity, don't want to get destroyed by success. It's not going to change who I am; people will still see me race as much... what difference does it make to anyone wether Tom Boonen's hanging in the couch watching tele in winter in Belgium or Monaco?"

The Belgian 'playboy' sprinter also lashed out to the sensation-seeking press in his country: "Hey, I'm considering a sex change after this season. I just haven't made up my mind yet about my new name..."

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