Arnaud de Lee is only 21 years old, but he is increasingly being dubbed “the new Tom Boonen”. What does the “real Tom Boonen” think of this comparison?
“I sincerely hope so,” Bohnen replied on Saturday in Kortrijk. “I met him recently and everything I thought was right. He's a great, no-nonsense bull.”
“Arno is very strong, mentally and physically. The sky is the limit for him. Look at the European Championship,” Boonen points out De Lay's impressive progress for Wout van Aart. “You rarely see songs like this.”
According to Boonen, the pressure should not be a burden on De Lee. “He can handle that well. And maybe he can imitate what I did once at the beginning. We weren't very good at the beginning either.”
De Lie is aiming for a classic victory this spring. Realistic goal? “What is good comes fast. We have seen that in recent years more than before.”
“Arno should be able to finish the season among the best players. I'm not saying he will win, but he will compete to win.”
Last year, Tom Boonen said on Velofollies that he was “starting to look forward to competing again.” Bunin was thinking mainly about pebbles.
But after a year he changed his mind. “Competition no longer makes me happy. I have a lot of things that make me happier than just pinning a jersey number.”
Boonen and Marcel Kittel are already looking forward to the spring. According to duo Mathieu van der Poel, who else? – The Man in the Coming Classics.
Boonen: “Everyone who turns on their TV this winter will be pointing in the same direction. Matteo is reaching a level I haven't seen him at yet.”
Tadej Pogacar will not participate in the Tour of Flanders. Is this a boon for competitors like Woot Fan Art? “With such good Van der Poel, it's even more shameful. The more souls, the merrier.”
Kittle added: “What disappoints me a little is the negative atmosphere surrounding Van Aert. He is still a top-class rider with a lot of talent. I still believe in him.”
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