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What's the deal with Boonen?(10 posts)

What's the deal with Boonen?raboboy
Nov 8, 2002 1:44 PM
The latest from
Boonen won't stay quietly
The Tom Boonen/US Postal contract affair will not be resolved peacefully it seems. A report in Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen suggests that Boonen wants to do everything he can to try to get out of a binding agreement with the team for 2003. However, unless he comes up with the money to buy his way out of his contract, he will have to stay.

A few days after the final race of the season (Grote Sluitingsprijs van Putte-Kapellen), Tom Boonen reportedly "sent a fax to USPS team manager Mark Gorski stating that he is leaving the team immediately." Boonen's desire for 2003 is to ride in the Quick Step-Davitamon team of Patrick Lefevere, where he could race alongside Johan Museeuw.

However, US Postal was not interested in his fax and has always maintained that Boonen has a contract with the team for 2003. In addition, the UCI has made it clear that it does not approve of riders breaking their contracts unless there is a good reason (e.g., non-payment of wages). Boonen does not fall into this category although he does feel frustrated that he did not race enough this season.

On November 15, USPS will give the UCI the names of all its riders, and Boonen still forms part of the lineup, whether he wants to or not.

I know he has talent but it seems like he is a little brash and just burning bridges. Do you think it is his young age or is he making serious points in his desire to leave USPS?
re: What's the deal with Boonen?Spunout
Nov 8, 2002 2:51 PM
Well, if you are a domestique on a team that lives and dies to see Lance in Yellow, it is a good team.

But, some must truly wish to get out of the mold. Consider it organizational 'fit'. If I was a pro, I'd rather ride with/for Museeuw than Lance.

OTOH, his public denunciation of the team writing his paycheque is a slap in the face. He should work behind scenes to resolve or buyout his contract.
re: What's the deal with Boonen?Qubeley
Nov 8, 2002 3:14 PM
as a young classic rider, who do you want to learn from: Hincapie the American or Museeuw from your own country?
Not to mention Lance's omni presence.
It will definitely be a better choice for him if he can make the swtich, but I do think UCI should stop the riders breaking contract for reasons like this. The jump may benefit the rider, whoever, the team who put in the effect to discover the rider, who lay out the long term plans, who draw the money from the sponsors, will have to do a lot work to clean up the mess the rider left behind. The contract should protect both the rider and the team.
Roberto Heras set a bad precedence, too bad his time trial didn't really improve.
re: BoonenNiwot
Nov 8, 2002 9:57 PM
Hey, Boonen can learn a lot from Hincapie. Every young rider needs to learn how to get in winning breakaways, find a hundred different ways to lose, and then give a hundred different excuses for not winning.

Seriously, though, I think Bruyneel has a grudge against Boonen. He's already buried Boonen for one year, does he have to keep him in the deep freeze for another year? If Boonen just sat out the whole year and didn't race for anyone, that would only be about two fewer races than USPS will let him do.
re: What's the deal with Boonen?mohair_chair
Nov 8, 2002 3:19 PM
Museeuw told Boonen, on the Paris-Roubaix podium, that Boonen was the next Museeuw. Boonen believes him. Because George is the man at PR for USPS, Boonen wants out. He clearly has real talent, and I don't blame him for wanting out, but a deal is a deal. Stop whining, suck it up, have the best year you can whatever you are asked to do, then go to the highest bidder. There are no bridges to burn in cycling. Results are the only thing that matter.
I wonder if ...seyboro
Nov 8, 2002 3:47 PM
...Vandenbroucke was told the same thing. Aw, what the heck, Lefevre sure knows how to develop young riders who have had a good race or two...
Careful what you wish for Mr. Boonen....JS
Nov 8, 2002 4:22 PM
you might just get it. Tom should know if he follows cycling that he'd be even more handcuffed riding for Lefevere. Seriously, Museeuw, VDB and Bettini, that's about as stacked a spring classics team as it gets. The only thing Tom's gonna win in this team is the youngest rider to get burned out in the year 2003 award.
I would think Boonen...Wayne
Nov 11, 2002 6:36 AM
knows how much racing he can handle. I would think coming up through the Belgium amateur ranks he raced quite frequently. I agree that he would seemingly have more freedom to ride his own race on USPS in the spring-classics than the new Lefevre team, so maybe that's not the issue? Of course the obvious irony of this whole situation is Bruyneel crying that Boonen should respect his contract, when USPS stole Heras from Kelme by buying out the last year of his contract.
Operative phrase is "buy-out" [nm]Leroy
Nov 11, 2002 10:11 AM
Yes, what do you mean?Wayne
Nov 11, 2002 11:40 AM
Heras bought-out his last year on his Kelme contract (which I think Postal actually paid), Boonen is proposing to do the same. Although I think he actually has to pay it, since Lefevre doesn't like the idea of "stealing" a rider from another team!