What's Cool In Road Cycling

Boonen’s Quick Step Up?

So Tom Boonen has signed with Quick Step…and has succumbed to the probable combination of home-sickness, promises of more money, greater exposure and the opportunity to race for and with legendary management and team mates in that area of cycling that he calls his specialty.

The only reservation I would have is that he may no longer have his best interests looked out for like he has to date (but you’ve got to leave the nest sometime), and that he’ll be exposed to positive roll models like VDB and Tricky Dick. But the upside potential is pretty huge.

Going to a team that is closer to home is simply a more comfortable situation. Add to that the fact that the Directeur, while showing less than strong moral fiber at times, is arguably the best teacher around for the Spring’s biggest fling in the Hell of the North (by the way…why they limit that to “North” is beyond me, as it should be renamed just plain “The Hell”). Boonen also gets a year along side the Lion of Flanders, with the probability of continued support after retirement given a strong relationship with management at Quick Step and the likelihood that Johan won’t be leaving the sport completely.

Boonen staying at Postal is almost as frightful as the thought of Frank Vandenbroucke throwing his arm over Boonen’s young shoulder and saying “let me help you…”. Postal is near and dear to everyone’s heart, but it is no place for a classics man and probably won’t be for at least two more years. I love watching Big George patrolling for Lance in the Tour, but I don’t wonder if he suffers for it when the races that matter to him come around. If it were that easy, the team would be patrolling for George from start to finish as early as Flanders rather than just starting to come around at Amstel (not that Anyone at PCN wants the team at Postal to change a thing!!!).

Hincapie has come so close so many times only to come up lacking when it counted, that it begs (or screams) the question of whether it is capacity or support that he lacks… Only a change of scenery will get that for him. But it is easy to toss around opinion about what is “good” for people, rather than having to make the life choices that our heros must. Trying to tell Boonen to stay and be “protected” is as foolish as the suggestion that George give up an extremely lucrative position at Postal so that he could roll the dice and probably not make much more money.

For us it is entertainment. For them it is life.

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