Boonen: Bring on the pavé

Despite a less than stellar performance midweek at Ghent-Wevelgem, Tom Boonen reckons that he's in a

Despite a less than stellar performance midweek at Ghent-Wevelgem, Tom Boonen reckons that he's in a

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Tom Boonen was bustling with confidence before his encounter with the pav on Sunday. "I'll be as strong on Sunday as I was in the Tour of Flanders. I'm not dodging my role as favourite. I'm ready for it and the team is specialised for it, so bring it on," he said, writes Susanne Horsdal.

It was a confident Tom Boonen who met the press on Friday after a training ride on some of the Paris-Roubaix pav. Wednesday's less successful performance in Ghent-Wevelgem seemed to have left no trace of worry in the world champion's mind, only considerations about whether to drop the midweek race next year.

"Ghent-Wevelgem has nothing to do with Paris-Roubaix. The Tour of Flanders was still in my body and my head on Wednesday. I was more tired than I'd thought. Maybe in the coming years I'll have to give my participation in Ghent-Wevelgem some thought. But don't think that because I wasn't at my best on Wednesday that I won't be on Sunday," stressed Boonen, sending a clear signal to his rivals.

If Boonen can repeat his victory from last year he'll be the first rider to achieve this since Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle in 1992-1993. Not since Bernard Hinault won in 1981 has a rider wearing the rainbow jersey triumphed in 'the Hell of the North'.

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