I just wanted to write this to capture the moment.
Possibly with the exception of most of Belgium, who already believed he was, today is the day that Tom Boonen became a legend in the cycling world.
There are many recipes for legend-ness, but nothing beats a good comeback story, especially when it involves illegal drugs. See, Tommeke peaked pretty young, and long before he was 30 years old he’d won Paris-Roubaix 3 times, The Tour of Flanders twice, The World Championships, 6 stages of the Tour de France and a whole musette full of other classics and stage race wins. However, he was busted a few times for out-of-competition cocaine use and after a great 2009 season most people thought his career was finished.
After a couple of years of bad luck, along comes 2012 and he has, to date, won the Tour of Qatar, the small-c classic E3 Harelbeke, Gent–Wevelgem, then the massive Tour of Flanders (equalling the all-time wins of several other riders at 3) and today’s 4th win at the velodrome of Roubaix, making him only the 2nd rider in history to achieve this feat (even Merckx only won it 3 times). It’s this victory today that is the last ingredient in our legendary recipe. Oh, and as the French commentators love to say, quelle panache! – he won today’s race with a 52 km solo attack that bested even Cancellara’s a couple of years back. Boonen is no Fabian when it comes to time-trialing, so it was even more impressive to see him ride away from the group and hold it.
So there you have it, now you know the recipe to immortality. You have no excuses!
Note: cocaine is an optional ingredient, but adds flavor to your inevitable unauthorized biography.
5 thoughts on “Tom Boonen – How to Make a Legend”
Gotta love a good come back story. Très impressionnant!
I’d love to see Boonen humble Cav with a few stage wins in the Tour…maybe even take the “Maillot Vert”.
I wonder if he’s got the legs for that…
Yes, he’s an amazing athlete. I don’t think the perfect one exists, but at least Boonen has moved on from his dodgy years and turned himself around. That’s an achievement on its own, even without becoming a top world cyclist in the process.
(PS Do hope you’ll join in the blog hop on 23 April http://www.bloginfrance.com/2012/expat-blog-hop/)
Hi Steph. Yeah, I was going to comment on your article yesterday. I probably can’t do the blog hop because I’ll be in the Loire helping out with a bicycle tour that week. I’ll try to get online and find something to talk about, but can’t guarantee!
hes a horse of a man