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Oh yea, what curse? He's already got over 10 wins this year and we havnt even gotten to april yet. Great ride by boonen, great race, great coverage.
 

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What a stud.

About the curse. In the upcoming classics I can envision scenarios like MSR where Boonen is marked so heavily that his team plays its cards with other riders (Nuyens, Bettini). I can see Quickstep winning several classics without it being Boonen. IF this happens, some will see his lack of a classic as a continuation of the curse, which, if he's there but bows to his teams plan, is ludicrous. I'll see it as a dominant team with a leader who is willing to let others have success. Lefevre deserves huge amounts of credit for keeping all of the stars on that team together, and the way they work together, whew.

Panasonic and Buckler lost a lot of races worrying about each other too much. Quickstep used to worry about Lotto a little too much; now QS seems to focus on winning, not 'try to win, but make sure Lotto doesn't', and the results show.
 

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Since this was labeled "Spoiler", does anyone know if a replay of the race or at least the finish is available?
 

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Even in...

euro-trash said:
What a stud.

About the curse. In the upcoming classics I can envision scenarios like MSR where Boonen is marked so heavily that his team plays its cards with other riders (Nuyens, Bettini). I can see Quickstep winning several classics without it being Boonen. IF this happens, some will see his lack of a classic as a continuation of the curse, which, if he's there but bows to his teams plan, is ludicrous. I'll see it as a dominant team with a leader who is willing to let others have success. Lefevre deserves huge amounts of credit for keeping all of the stars on that team together, and the way they work together, whew.

Panasonic and Buckler lost a lot of races worrying about each other too much. Quickstep used to worry about Lotto a little too much; now QS seems to focus on winning, not 'try to win, but make sure Lotto doesn't', and the results show.
I sort of agree with you here, but for people in the know, you can see, in just about all of the races that Boonen hasn't won, he's been near the top, and certainly in the select group at the finish for the most part, which shows that he is strong, and that he can still make a bid for victory. Last year, I dare say he was just as marked during races, and yet, with a great team behind him, he was able to throw it down and win some big races. I think his win total so far this year is like 12 or 13 races possibly? I think it's going to come down in some races like PR last year, where he rode away (with a wearing down by his team of others) with a very small select group, and really he was so strong, only a few could follow, in the case of PR, Flecha and Hincapie, and in the case of Flanders, nobody. I read something from Van Petegem about Flanders last year where he said he was near or on Boonen's wheel when he went to take the win, and there was nothing he could do, there was no response, he was already on the limit and Boonen simply rode away from him, and everyone else. It's crazy to think that someone can have that much power under him, but we keep seeing it time and again, and if it does come down to a small group, he's going to take the sprint, unless Pettacchi is there. That being said, he does seem more than happy to let his teammate's take wins as well, and to help them to that end. There has been lots of talk about how cocky he is, and how egotistical he is, but frankly, I've not seen that from him on the bike. If he can win, his team will make sure that he can. If he feels that he cannot, he appears more than willing to work to get one of his teammate's across the line first. Lefevre, as you said, has got QS firing on all cylinders right now, and they look most dominant when it comes to one day races everywhere.
 

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rocco said:
Since this was labeled "Spoiler", does anyone know if a replay of the race or at least the finish is available?
Sorry, wasn't sure of the etiquette for dicussing races without giving it away.

Highlights are on cycling.tv premium channel later today.
 

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magnolialover said:
I sort of agree with you here, but for people in the know, you can see, in just about all of the races that Boonen hasn't won, he's been near the top, and certainly in the select group at the finish for the most part, which shows that he is strong, and that he can still make a bid for victory. Last year, I dare say he was just as marked during races, and yet, with a great team behind him, he was able to throw it down and win some big races. I think his win total so far this year is like 12 or 13 races possibly? I think it's going to come down in some races like PR last year, where he rode away (with a wearing down by his team of others) with a very small select group, and really he was so strong, only a few could follow, in the case of PR, Flecha and Hincapie, and in the case of Flanders, nobody. I read something from Van Petegem about Flanders last year where he said he was near or on Boonen's wheel when he went to take the win, and there was nothing he could do, there was no response, he was already on the limit and Boonen simply rode away from him, and everyone else. It's crazy to think that someone can have that much power under him, but we keep seeing it time and again, and if it does come down to a small group, he's going to take the sprint, unless Pettacchi is there. That being said, he does seem more than happy to let his teammate's take wins as well, and to help them to that end. There has been lots of talk about how cocky he is, and how egotistical he is, but frankly, I've not seen that from him on the bike. If he can win, his team will make sure that he can. If he feels that he cannot, he appears more than willing to work to get one of his teammate's across the line first. Lefevre, as you said, has got QS firing on all cylinders right now, and they look most dominant when it comes to one day races everywhere.

Really? Iv never heard of boonen being the least bit egotistical, he's always come off humble to me. I look at it as being a team effort. Its not all about boonen, Its about getting a win for quickstep. They're professionals, this is their job for them. They have to please their sponsors, and if boonen feels he cant win, the he does what he should and help his other teammates win, much like he did in MSR. I think at the end of the day it just comes down to getting a win for QUICKSTEP not boonen.
 

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ultimobici said:
Sorry, wasn't sure of the etiquette for dicussing races without giving it away.

Highlights are on cycling.tv premium channel later today.
cool!

I'll try to catch that.
 

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magnolialover said:
I sort of agree with you here, but for people in the know, you can see, in just about all of the races that Boonen hasn't won, he's been near the top, and certainly in the select group at the finish for the most part, which shows that he is strong, and that he can still make a bid for victory. Last year, I dare say he was just as marked during races, and yet, with a great team behind him, he was able to throw it down and win some big races. I think his win total so far this year is like 12 or 13 races possibly? I think it's going to come down in some races like PR last year, where he rode away (with a wearing down by his team of others) with a very small select group, and really he was so strong, only a few could follow, in the case of PR, Flecha and Hincapie, and in the case of Flanders, nobody. I read something from Van Petegem about Flanders last year where he said he was near or on Boonen's wheel when he went to take the win, and there was nothing he could do, there was no response, he was already on the limit and Boonen simply rode away from him, and everyone else. It's crazy to think that someone can have that much power under him, but we keep seeing it time and again, and if it does come down to a small group, he's going to take the sprint, unless Pettacchi is there. That being said, he does seem more than happy to let his teammate's take wins as well, and to help them to that end. There has been lots of talk about how cocky he is, and how egotistical he is, but frankly, I've not seen that from him on the bike. If he can win, his team will make sure that he can. If he feels that he cannot, he appears more than willing to work to get one of his teammate's across the line first. Lefevre, as you said, has got QS firing on all cylinders right now, and they look most dominant when it comes to one day races everywhere.


Well stated and that's exactly how I see the situation also. Just talking about this section of the season and single day races, not stages races/GTs Boonen is almost Merckx like at this very moment. Now I say that hesitantly but when was the last time one guy and a team dominated (excluding USPS/Disco at the TDF) like this?
 

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hambinator said:
Really? Iv never heard of boonen being the least bit egotistical, he's always come off humble to me. I look at it as being a team effort. Its not all about boonen, Its about getting a win for quickstep. They're professionals, this is their job for them. They have to please their sponsors, and if boonen feels he cant win, the he does what he should and help his other teammates win, much like he did in MSR. I think at the end of the day it just comes down to getting a win for QUICKSTEP not boonen.

Mag didn't say that Boonen is. He said others have said that. I'm sure we all agree that QS has shown selfless team work and Boonen is as grounded as one could expect in situation. I'm sure the elder Bettini sets a excellent example for the younger guys including Boonen. Bettini is my favorite Pro because he's is class through and through. I can say Bettini is a really nice guy from my own personal experience and it's obvious just by observing him from afar.
 

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Spunout said:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/mar06/mar26news2

Great post-race comments above. This looks like one race to own the video. PvP made interesting comments about his chase companions. Petacchi?

Ballan is one to bank on in the future, Lefebvre knows this too.

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) was strong, but not strong enough: "On the Paterberg, I was riding in seventh position. Is that too far? The only mistake that I made is that I didn't react immediately to the attack of Ballan and Boonen. I'm happy with my performance but I'm getting angry about some people. Saying that I'm only performing two weeks a season is so wrong. They should see what I'm doing for so many years now."
I might be wrong but I think he was expressing his feelings about comments by sponsor Marc Coucke and how some in the media have portayed him.

see: Van Petegem handling the stress well, "The opposition? Doesn't worry me"

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/mar06/mar26news
 

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Oops! I misquoted, it was Hoste:

Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) finished fifth, last of the three man chase group. "Against Ballan and Boonen, there was not much we could do," he said. "On the Paterberg, I was too far back. I moved up with Van Petegem, but the bird had already flown. In the chase, there were too many of us. They were racing too much for third place. I don't understand that. Boonen was again really strong, but we'll keep trying."
Meaning everyone in the chase was racing for third. Such is the strength of Boonen. Anyone in the chase knew that if they caught him, he'd win the sprint. So why work to catch when you can sit on in the chase and play your card for second (or third in today's case).


TBs definitely scaring the $hit out of the competition.
 

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Spunout said:
Oops! I misquoted, it was Hoste:



Meaning everyone in the chase was racing for third. Such is the strength of Boonen. Anyone in the chase knew that if they caught him, he'd win the sprint. So why work to catch when you can sit on in the chase and play your card for second (or third in today's case).


TBs definitely scaring the $hit out of the competition.


how about this:

Boonen was then very confident that he would win. "Ballan was also very strong but suddenly, after a cobbled section, he had problems with his saddle. He spoke to me about it. I said that he shouldn't bother about it and keep riding hard, because I would beat him in the sprint anyway."
 

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I loved that one. Ballan racing for second.

FWIW, I've ridden an impossible Ritchey seatpost that always did that in CX races. No more single bolts for me, ever.
 

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Another Boonen gem ...

...from Eurosport:

"Ballan is explosive in the climbs as he proved in Sanremo. He can do it all, climb, sprint, time trial, he's a mini-Boonen!"
 

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euro-trash said:
What a stud.

About the curse. In the upcoming classics I can envision scenarios like MSR where Boonen is marked so heavily that his team plays its cards with other riders (Nuyens, Bettini). I can see Quickstep winning several classics without it being Boonen. IF this happens, some will see his lack of a classic as a continuation of the curse, which, if he's there but bows to his teams plan, is ludicrous. I'll see it as a dominant team with a leader who is willing to let others have success. Lefevre deserves huge amounts of credit for keeping all of the stars on that team together, and the way they work together, whew.

Panasonic and Buckler lost a lot of races worrying about each other too much. Quickstep used to worry about Lotto a little too much; now QS seems to focus on winning, not 'try to win, but make sure Lotto doesn't', and the results show.
Finally, a world champion worthy of his jersey. Great rider, positive attitude in racing, humble team player, too.

This is a good time to ask, What Would Freire Do?
 

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Boonen has panache

just like last years R-V-V when he was easily the favorite to take a small bunch sprint (as he did in P-R) Boonen goes 'Belgian' and solos to the finish. So not only can the guy win but in situations where he already has an advantage over his adversaries he chooses to take the harder but more stylish route to the win. I'm so geeked for this weekend. Dammit George stick to Tom like glue and don't get caught out of the winning move.
Boonen despite his success still shows good team spirit. Bettini as well, MSR was great to see him sacrifice for the squad. I wouldn't say 'class through and through' as I remember him taking a certain Baden Cooke into the rail at the Giro last season.
 
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