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by Matt de Neef
April 10, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Greg Van Avermaet wins his first Monument at Paris-Roubaix; Alejandro Valverde victorious at the Tour of the Basque Country; Ellen van Dijk wins the Healthy Ageing Tour, Moberg takes final stage; Eddie Dunbar solos to victory in U23 Tour of Flanders; Tom Boonen closes his illustrious career with 13th at final Paris-Roubaix; Mat Hayman reflects on his 2017 Roubaix; Cyclist fighting for life after hit-run on Mornington Peninsula; Snow falls on Baw Baw Classic; Andre Boonen on his son Tom’s greatest moments; Inside the peloton at Paris-Roubaix.
Tom Boonen might have finished his final Paris-Roubaix in 13th place, but the four-time winner has no regrets as his glittering career comes to a close. At 36 years of age and with more than 100 wins to his name, Boonen is one of the most successful riders of his generation, and one of the best Classics riders in recent memory.
All eyes were on Boonen as he attempted to take a record-breaking fifth win in Roubaix yesterday, but it wasn’t to be.
“The last few weeks it has been a rollercoaster of emotions and everybody seems to just be enjoying every last minute of racing that I’ve been giving them, even if I didn’t win,” said Boonen. “It was very difficult today, it was really hot.”
While Belgian cycling is lamenting Boonen’s retirement, there’s considerable hope for the immediate future, not least in yesterday’s winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). The 31-year-old paid tribute to his retiring compatriot after winning in the Roubaix velodrome.
“I looked yesterday to Wikipedia to see all his results – it’s incredible, he’s won four times here and a lot of big races,” said Van Avermaet. “I’m a different kind of rider, more a climber than a sprinter. Every guy makes his own career but to get the victories of Tom is going to be impossible because he has more than 100 and I have 31 now, so I still have a long way to go!”
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