The likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert and Sep Vanmarcke are rightly respected but arguably their combined media profiles don’t reach the heights of Boonen’s popularity.
“Golden Greg” has gone up a level since his Olympic win but they don’t seem close.
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‘Everyone is predictable these days, and the easiest way to get beaten is to be predictable,’ he reveals. ‘Sometimes you have to have the balls to try something new,’ he says.
‘When I first turned pro, the style of racing was to wait and wait.
He’s even been labelled ‘a warrior’ by Tour de France legend Bernard Hinault after his 2016 Paris-Roubaix podium finish."It was awkward today in the final kilometers, when I became aware that one important chapter of my career is coming to an end.I was relaxed and tried to enjoy every moment as much as possible, in front of this fantastic crowd.After 150km Boonen and his fellow racers will enter the traditional final circuits of 16.8km each before the finish in Schoten, where Boonen has twice been victorious.But Quick-Step Floors will likely be working for German Marcel Kittel in this pure sprinter's race. No matter who wins, the attention will certainly be squarely on Boonen, who has set his retirement date after Paris-Roubaix, where he will attempt to earn the outright record with five.Quick-Step Floors will be the last team presented to the fans at the Rondplein in Mol at a.m. Once the peloton rolls out, riders will pass by the home of Boonen's grandfather, Raymond Boonen, who will drop the flag for the official race start after 9.5km of neutral roll out.