Tom Boonen, de loopbaan van een Vlaams zondagskind


NOS   Wielrennen   0

In zijn eerste jaar als prof werd de lange, slungelige jongeman uit het Vlaamse Balen meteen derde in Parijs-Roubaix. Hij was nog een grote onbekende, een verdwaalde Belg in de kleuren van US Postal, het machtsblok van Lance Armstrong. 

Als knecht van George Hincapie was hij vroeg in de aanval gegaan. Toen zijn kopman onderweg ten val kwam, reed Boonen door. Vol overtuiging, kracht gekoppeld aan souplesse, danste hij over de kasseien. 

De zege was met grote voorsprong voor Johan Museeuw, destijds de onbetwiste Leeuw van Vlaanderen. Op het podium fluisterde Museeuw in het oor van Boonen. Bijna cerebraal, zoals alleen Museeuw dat kon: “U zijt mijn opvolger.” Boonen lachte verlegen. 



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