In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Valverde sprints out of select group to win Pais Vasco, stage 5; Coquard wins final stage, Calmejane the overall for Direct Energie at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe; Brennauer takes sprint win in Healthy Ageing Tour as van Dijk protects lead; With an eye on the all-time record, Boonen calm heading into final Roubaix; ‘One of the classiest of the big champions:’ Rivals, teammates celebrate Boonen’s career; Aru suffers knee injury during altitude training; No Liège defense for Poels due to injury; Road furniture causes more crashes at Pais Vasco, Cummings and Atapuma out with injuries; Professional Cycling Association reviews disc brake covers; British Cycling creates ‘People Director’ position to focus on athlete welfare; Team Sky bring three riders new to Paris-Roubaix; Second indoor velodrome coming to US; Video: Canyon-SRAM on why they train; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour: Focus on Ronde van Vlaanderen; Video: UCI timing partner Tissot.
Your Saturday Daily News Digest
Win or lose on Sunday, Tom Boonen’s retirement will leave the peloton without one of its most well-known champions. He’s been a ferocious and successful competitor, but also an athlete with some very human qualities. CyclingTips spoke to some of his teammates and rivals to get a picture of what the Belgian is really like. Here is an excerpt from the feature:
In the minutes after last year’s Paris-Roubaix, you might have expected Tom Boonen to be utterly crushed by the outcome. He had come back from a bad crash to ride the race, working hard to be in the necessary shape to challenge for the win. On the day itself he had been a marked rider, particularly when in the select lead group in the finale, and had been left to do much of the chasing when others attacked.
In the end, he came up fractionally short. A rider who few had tipped beforehand, Mat Hayman, pulled off a surprise win. The Australian launched his sprint and when Boonen tried to react, he was momentarily hemmed in by Sep Vanmarcke.
“I had to wait 30 or 40 metres, and that cost me the victory,” Boonen said at the post-race press conference. “Or, at least it cost me the chance to really sprint against him. Then I was already too far behind.”
Still, he was utterly gracious in defeat. He was also generous in his praise of Hayman.
“He played it very well. In the end, I think a guy like him really deserves a victory like this after a career of helping people out and being in the final of Classics a lot but not really getting the big wins.
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