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Thoughts on Johann and Boonen?(10 posts)

Thoughts on Johann and Boonen?No_sprint
Aug 16, 2002 10:12 AM
After Boonen's performance in the Paris-Roubaix I really thought we'd see more of him in the biggies. Left out of the Tour, no San Sebastian, no Zurich Championships. Other than Roubaix, I can only see that he's done the Hew. That's it for the biggies. My guess is he's been doing some of the smaller races, but why not throw him into the fire?. After all, he did take 2nd in the hardest one day classic in the world.

Any thoughts? Ideas?
needs more work?cyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 10:21 AM
they're grooming him for bigger. or maybe he is falling out? is he looking for better paying team? btw he was 3rd
re: Thoughts on Johann and Boonen?swvegg
Aug 16, 2002 10:23 AM
3rd, actually. He's still young, you don't want to overwork the poor guy.
Most riders don't even contest a major UCI race...lonefrontranger
Aug 16, 2002 10:40 AM
Until they're at least 23 years old. Boonen is only 21.

For perspective, LA was the youngest rider ever to win a Tour stage and one of the youngest ever to win pro Worlds. Even with such exceptional talent shown at such an early age, Motorola carefully planned his career progression. They didn't plan to have him finish a Tour until '96, even to the day that they would withdraw him each year. We can now speculate that his withdrawal in '96 and the "fatigue and flu-like symptoms" of which he complained when he exited were probably due to the cancer which was most likely already spreading through his system.
exactly my pointNo_sprint
Aug 16, 2002 11:00 AM
He's obviously unusually good. Why not give him at least a couple more shots? 3rd (sorry about the error) at Paris-Roubaix is pretty incredible no matter how old you are.
As I understand it.........Len J
Aug 16, 2002 11:07 AM
there is both a psycological component and a physical component to this theory of developing him slowly. The psycological component is that they don't want to have him fail miserable by "throwing him in the deep end" too quickly as well as keeping the public scrutiny off him for as long as practical. Physically, a riders endurance grows as he ages (it is apparently somewhat cumulative). The fear is that they risk injury if they ask him to do too much too fast, at this level of racing.

I too would like to see more of him, however Based on interviews I've read of him, he is comfortable with the development plan Postal has committed to. I suspect that they know beter than I. I certainly would want thenm to err on the side of caution, especially at his age.

Ullrich was 23cyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 11:17 AM
when he finished second in his first tour. I think he was the younest to win it at 24. He said he wished he was given more time.
More time for what???WCC
Aug 16, 2002 3:42 PM
...He won it at 24. He probably would have won it a few more tims if not for LA. Unless he thinks he's burnt himself out. BUT, I doubt he would say that if he was the current 3 time Tour winner.
Ullrich was 23swvegg
Aug 17, 2002 8:51 AM
Figon was the youngest at 22, I believe. The age may not be right but I'm sure that Figon was the youngest.
Sounds good. Thanks for the thoughts.No_sprint
Aug 16, 2002 11:36 AM
I didn't know he was indeed on a serious development plan. I look forward to seeing more of this dude. Hopefully the plan works right and he's not an early bloomer who misses his time.