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Why did Tom Boonen leave USPS?(11 posts)

Why did Tom Boonen leave USPS?MootsMN
Jan 15, 2003 7:58 AM
He did a bang-up job in the '02 Spring Classics and has a long, talented career ahead of him. Seems like a loss for USPS. Was it team dynamics or did QuickStep make a better offer?
yeap, moneycyclopathic
Jan 15, 2003 8:07 AM
plus more chances to develop. Quick Step does far more races then USPS. Postal's calendar is pretty much dictated Lance's preparation for TdF and they only do Vuelta as a way to pay back Heras. Boonen is too young for grand tour, he needs to ride one day and esp short stage races which USPS has no interest in.
instant gratificationmohair_chair
Jan 15, 2003 8:23 AM
He saw he could ride with the big boys in the classics and decided he didn't want to be second fiddle to George Hincapie anymore. It didn't help when Museeuw himself proclaimed him the next Museeuw.

I don't think it was money, as Quick Step doesn't exactly need him. They've got a great stable of proven classic riders already, and Boonen is 4th or 5th on the depth chart.

I think the two major reasons Boonen left are that he can now train with Museeuw, and he can now ride for a Belgian team.

Personally, I wonder if he is flying too close to the sun leaving USPS the way he did, getting into a situation that seems less beneficial on the face of it. I guess we'll have to wait a few years to find out.
Boonen left to ride with the Lion, not the cashDoubleK
Jan 15, 2003 8:54 AM
I believe that Boonen left USPS to ride with Johan. It had nothing to do with money. For a young Belgian to be able to race and train with the Lion of Flanders in what is probobly his last season was simply irresistable. I also believe Boonen thought he was being held back too much by USPS and just didn't get enough racing.

I can't wait for the classics to see if there is any bad blood between USPS and Boonen. A little flick here, and a little flick there perhaps? Don't kid yourself, nobody likes to be dissed in the "Top Club", people have long memories. You know what happens.

Let's roll!
Three reasons why Boonen is better off with Quick Step than USPSNiwot
Jan 15, 2003 11:38 AM
1. USPS put Boonen in the deep freeze after Paris-Roubaix and didn't let him contest the other classics. Boonen won't be the main man at Quick Step, not even close, but at least he'll be in the races, which for him is a vast improvement. He needs to learn by being in the battles every week.

2. If you're going to be a classics rider, riding for/with Museeuw on Quick Step is much better than riding for/with Hincapie on USPS. Obviously you can learn a helluva lot more from Museeuw, not to mention the other riders on Quick Step. Quick Step's only real goal is the classics and World Cup races; they only dabble in grand tours. USPS's only real goal is putting Lance in yellow in the TdF; they only dabble in the classics and World Cup races. If you are a one-day classics rider, it's obvious which team is the best fit.

3. If you are in the race at the end, Museeuw might let you try to win, and help you win the race, if you have an opportunity and he doesn't (example: Knaven's win at Paris-Roubaix). If you're in the same situation on USPS, Hincapie will whine forever if you win and he doesn't, and you'll be fired for having the gall to win a race George wanted to win (just ask Marty Jemison and Chann McRae).
Three reasons why Boonen is better off with Quick Step than USPSpina
Jan 15, 2003 4:38 PM
You have it covered, all three good reasons. Boonen would have been less than smart not to go. USPS really can't offer a classics rider what he needs. USPS wants their classics team to be a one man show for George like the tour is for Lance. That formula doesn't work in the classics. You need three or four guys on your team capable of being at the front. Postal is just not committed to anything outside of the tour. It's a shame, because in Europe people value more than just the tour. In the states, people only think of the tour.
I hear ya, but,Sintesi
Jan 15, 2003 7:06 PM
But the little twerp signed a contract and broke it and he's just a punk who thinks he's the next king o' the classics because he got a 3 in the P-R. If this kid doesn't perform the Belgian press will eat him alive. They EXPECT him to be Museeuw. Ouch! that's no fun. The pressure is on! We'll see how good a move it was.
Re: I hear ya, but,Niwot
Jan 15, 2003 11:05 PM
Why is Boonen "breaking his contract" with USPS different than Heras doing the same with his Kelme contract? Answer: It's not different.

Sure, Boonen has pressure because of Museeuw's comment last year, but if Axel can learn to deal with being Eddy Merckx's son, Boonen can learn to deal with that comment. Lots of people have to learn to deal with pressure. If Boonen wants to take his best shot at being a great classics rider, Quick Step is the best move for him, pressure or no.
I like Heras, I'm glad he's working for Postal, butSintesi
Jan 16, 2003 4:25 AM
Heras shouldn't have broke his contract. Maybe Kelme was jerking him around, their pretty notorius for underpaying their riders. But I get the point, USPS has been bitten by their own dog.

Ever heard of Frank Vandenbroucke? He was the last l'il Museeuw. Anyhoo, Boonen's what, 22? 23? He had some very good results (a 7 in Ghent, 24 in Tour of Flanders and a 3 in P-R) as a rookie w/ USPS. I think they helped him tremendously. How much better exactly is he supposed to get with Quick Step? I don't seriously think for a moment his career has been or would be damaged by an association w/ Johan Bruyneel, George Hincapie and Lance Armstrong for a couple more years. In fact, quite the contrary. The short of the matter is he wants to win and win now and he wants to ride w/ Museeuw because that's his idol. We're talking immature here. Personally, I hope this whiney kid carries Bettini's bidons for THREE years now.. Like I zaid, we'll see.
re: Why did Tom Boonen leave USPS?aljue
Jan 15, 2003 9:44 PM
Museuum = Boonen. Indurain = Olano. Get the picture? Despite the heavy expectations brought to them by their predecessor, living up to the name is a hard and trecherous route.
re: Why did Tom Boonen leave USPS?Madmax
Jan 16, 2003 8:05 AM
I think we have identified decent reasons for leaviing USPS but they beg the question on why he signed with USPS to begin with. USPS signed him and gave him the opportunity to race and gain experience although perhaps not as much or as quickly as he wanted or expected and he repays them by jumping ship.