PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
With six sprint wins to his credit, Tom Boonen returned to Europe from Qatar last weekend a happy man, but his feeling of contentment may well have been exceeded by his team manager Patrick Lefvre, who watched the new components of the world champion's lead-out train bed in almost seamlessly.
One key to this success was the arrival of Alessandro Petacchi's form lead-out man, Matteo Tosatto, after five seasons at Fassa Bortolo. The 31-year-old Italian can also see the benefits of the new partnership, suggesting in an interview with AFP that Boonen can win next month's Milan-San Remo.
Tosatto admitted that Boonen is different as a sprinter to Petacchi. "Tom is much more explosive, while Alessandro has more experience and is stronger on a long sprint. However, Tom has won so many races already that he doesn't stay behind," explained Tosatto.
Tosatto, of course, helped Petacchi to his first San Remo success last year and believes he can achieve the same with Boonen. "Tom is very strong at the moment. At Milan-San Remo, if he can follow me on the final difficulties, including the Poggio, I'm sure that he'll win," said Tosatto, who added: "Alessandro will always remain my friend, but I couldn't turn down the Quick Step offer. Now it's my job to race for Tom."
Boonen was quick to return the compliments, saying: "No other rider is able to lead out the peloton on the last two kilometres like Matteo does. This guy is extraordinarily strong and resistant."