Tom Boonen - Career Overview

Career Overview

At the start of 2002 Boonen rode for the US Postal team, finishing third in Paris–Roubaix after an early breakaway. Fellow Belgian rider Johan Museeuw had escaped off the front of the race to a solo victory, and team captain George Hincapie crashed in a slippery section of the course leaving Boonen to ride for himself. Boonen's performance in the race compelled Museeuw – his childhood hero – to publicly declare Boonen his natural successor.

However, Boonen was not completely happy at US Postal, claiming he did not get enough chances to ride for himself. Towards the end of the year he announced he would leave the team, despite being under contract, and joined Quick Step-Davitamon at the start of 2003. The 2003 season, however, did not go well for Boonen, who saw lacklustre performance due to fatigue and a knee injury. In this season Museeuw was the undisputed team leader for the spring classics campaign.

The 2004 season saw Boonen rise up to the challenge to win the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, the classic race Gent–Wevelgem and the Grote Scheldeprijs. In addition, he also won two stages of the Tour de France including the prestigious final stage in Paris, just as Museeuw did in 1990.

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