'Tom more like Van Looy than Merckx'

That's the assessment of former Classics star and T-Mobile team manager Walter Godefroot, who sees p

That's the assessment of former Classics star and T-Mobile team manager Walter Godefroot, who sees p

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Following his successful defence of the Tour of Flanders title on Sunday, which sets him up for the opportunity to become the first rider in history to do the Flanders-Roubaix double in consecutive years, Tom Boonen is receiving ever more comparisons to the great Eddy Merckx.

However, as Boonen is very unlikely to win five Tours de France and the same number of Giro d'Italia titles, the comparison with Merckx is clearly misplaced. But, according to former Classics star and T-Mobile team boss Walter Godefroot, there is good reason to compare the Quick Step tyro with another Belgian legend, Rik van Looy.

"He really reminds me of Van Looy," Godefroot told Belgium's La Dernire Heure. "He's cunning and fast, but he's also very well protected. Van Looy had his red guard, now Boonen has his blue [Quick Step] guard. He's also a rider with lots of panache, who loves to attack, even when he could wait for a sprint."

Results-wise, Van Looy and Boonen match up pretty well too. At the same of 25, both had won a similar number of Classics, while Boonen was a couple of years younger than Van Looy when the latter won his world title. It remains to be seen, however, whether Boonen can go on and equal Van Looy's achievement of being the only rider in history to win all of the great Classics at least once.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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