Tom Boonen burst onto the world cycling stage in 2002 with US Postal Service. At just twenty-one years of age, Boonen rode to an emphatic third place behind Johan Museeuw and Steffen Wesemann in his first, and the one hundredth edition of Paris-Roubaix.
Boonen went on to finish on the podium inside the Roubaix velodrome a total six times, four of which were on the top step – a record only matched by Roger De Vlaeminck. Following a single season with the infamous American team, Boonen joined an earlier incarnation of the Quick-Step Floors team and has remained with Patrick Lefevere and the Belgian team for fifteen seasons.
Complementing the four victories at ‘The Hell of the North', Boonen has also achieved three Tour of Flanders victories, three Gent-Wevelgem victories, five E3 Harelbeke/Prijs Vlaanderen victories, two Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne victories, six Tour de France stages, two Vuelta a Espana stages, a Tour de France Green Jersey, two national titles and a World title to name just some of the highlights of his 16-year career.
As Boonen's career comes to an end, fittingly where it truly begun on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, Cyclingnews takes a look back at some of the highlights, the lows and the greatest victories of Belgium's poster boy.
Let us know your favourite memories of Tom Boonen's career in the comments below.
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