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It's official -- Boonen splits for Quick Step(11 posts)

It's official -- Boonen splits for Quick Stepvelocity
Dec 2, 2002 4:30 PM
Disappointing to Postie fans wanting to see victories in the Classics. Looks like Boonen couldn't wait to start getting groomed by Johann Museeuw and Patrick Lefevere to be, well, the next Lion of Flanders. It'll be interesting to watch early next season.
More interesting is Botero signs w/Telekom.look271
Dec 2, 2002 5:55 PM
Looks like, on paper, that they should have quite the team. Cadel Evans, Salvodelli, and now Botero.
Telekom reloadsvelocity
Dec 3, 2002 7:51 AM
Telekom has several guys who are capable of snagging tour wins.

Where's Ullrich gonna land? The deal with CSI lags on and on... By the way, he turned 29 yesterday. He's still got a chance to do some damage.
where he does more of the same...mr_spin
Dec 3, 2002 7:10 AM
Does he think he will be the man at Flanders or Roubaix? I don't think he is very smart at all. He's fourth or fifth on the depth chart at Quick Step, whereas he was second at USPS. If he stays with Postal for the year, he'll get more opportunities for glory in the classics to pad his palmares, after which he can transfer to a Belgian team when Museeuew finally retires. By moving to Quick Step right now, he will quickly fade from memory.
Dec 3, 2002 7:39 AM
We'll see, which is the fun part of the off-season transfers--seeing how the moves pan out once the season unfolds. The 2002 NY Mets, for instance, looked great on paper in the off-season but sucked out in the field.

By my reckoning Boonen has plenty of time to develop. I agree that with Quick Step he drops down on the depth chart but that could be to his advantage as well -- and he's understudying with arguably the best. The problem for Postal is that a 22-year-old was #2 on their Classics depth chart. Who's going to replace him?
Max van Heeswijk...Wayne
Dec 3, 2002 8:44 AM
is who they hired to replace him.
I don't think the issue was ever...Wayne
Dec 3, 2002 8:50 AM
him taking 2nd seat to Hincapie. Or at least I never read that. It seemed that the motivations for moving to Quick-Step/leaving Postal were:
1) He felt USPS didn't let him race enough.
2) This is probably the last year he could ride with Museeuw.
3) He's Belgium and USPS is not but Quick-Step is.

Although I never saw it mentioned per se, I imagine part of the not racing issue may also be USPS neglect of the World Cup (and many other important one day races, with the exception of the Spring Classics).
World Cupmohair_chair
Dec 3, 2002 9:00 AM
How quickly we all forget. Beyond the spring classics, in the post-Tour World Cup races, Hincapie got 4th in the Hamburg race, and Armstrong got 3rd at Zurich. Hincapie was also looking very good at San Sebastien before he crashed. That's hardly neglect of the World Cup.

As a top ten team, USPS is required to race 8 of the 10 World Cup races, and they seriously raced all of them, maybe with the exception of Paris-Tours. Boonen was the leader for that race, by the way.
A matter of perspective...Wayne
Dec 3, 2002 9:28 AM
I guess what I mean by a lack of focus on the World Cup is either no focus on winning the team competition or the individual competition. When you have a guy like Hincapie that could potentially win the World Cup, the appropriate level of focus is not to have him riding tempo in France in July but rather resting up for an assult on the second half of the season and to hire some help.
Boonen will get that focus at Quick-Step, it was not going to happen at USPS. Not to mention, he will have a shot at winning stages in the Grand Tours or smaller important stage race GC's or stages, that was for the most part, again, not going to happen at USPS.
Boonen the next VDB ?GreenFan
Dec 3, 2002 4:32 PM
The best reason why he SHOULD have stayed with Postal for another season would have been to get the experience without the added pressure of being the next Belgian star and being expected to live up to that mantle. VDB went through the same thing not long ago, couldn't take the pressure, couldn't live with the failure to deliver and the bad Belgian press that went with it and look what happened...can anyone tell me if VDB's dog has won any classics lately ? And let's see...wasn't VDB led astray by Patrick LeFevre ? I wonder if anyone will be finding morphine or EPO in Boonen's fridge before too long....
Why do people keep saying this...Wayne
Dec 4, 2002 4:35 AM
has he done anything to make people suspect he's unstable in the way VDB apparently is? I think leaving Postal was a smart move. Only time will tell if he can handle the pressure. He's as likely to be the next Museeuw as the next VdB (who won Gent-Wevlegem, Het Volk, LBL & Paris-Nice prior to his meltdown 2 years ago which isn't so bad), most likely his career will not resemble either of these guys.