Breaking Records

He won Paris-Roubaix four times.
From the year 1977 until the year 2012 he was the only one.
It’s the reason why people call him ‘Monsieur Paris-Roubaix’.
Since the 8th of April he has to share this record with another Belgian rider.
This rider pointed four fingers to the sky before crossing the finish line.
He had already won the classic three times, but this victory was special.
Tom Boonen won Paris-Roubaix again, it was the 110th edition this time,
and Roger de Vlaeminck is no longer the only one with four victories.
Roger de Vlaeminck stated before the race that he wouldn’t sleep less
about it and that the time was right for Tom Boonen to equal his prestation.
Though after the race Roger de Vlaeminck mentioned that
Tom Boonen didn’t have that much competition during the race
and that this was the reason why he could win so easily.
It must be hard to share a record that he had for himself for so long.
He used to be the only one with a plaque with four years
on it in the showers of the Velodrome in Roubaix.
Young riders probably argued with each other in the past about who could take
a shower in his shower box after another heroic edition of Paris-Roubaix.
Knowing that from now on he will always be mentioned in one sentence
with Tom Boonen when people talk about Paris-Roubaix must be frustrating.
Still, Roger the Vlaeminck has nothing to complain about.
His palmares is so long, Boonen could never live up to that.
Still, the guy who just entered his thirties is breaking record after record.
He also won the E3 Harelbeke this year for the 5th time in his career.
This means that Rik van Looy doesn’t hold that record any longer.
Besides that, Boonen also gets to share a record with Rik van Looy now.
Van Looy won Gent-Wevelgem, Flanders and Paris-Roubaix all in one year.
Exactly 50 years after this unique trilogy Boonen did the exact same thing.
He won the three cobblestone classics in a row this year.
Like he said himself: it does make sense to be breaking record after record.
Tom Boonen has been a professional rider since the year 2002
and already won a lot of races in the early stages of his cycling career.
The conclusion after these cobbled Spring classics? Tom Boonen can
honestly state after his victories in 2012 that he belongs to ‘the big ones’.

© The Telegraph / AP


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