Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen was once again too fast on the road and has lost his driver's license for the second time within a month. The Quick Step rider was stopped for driving 180 km/h in a 90 km/h zone shortly after midnight Wednesday morning and was also tested with an alcohol level of 1 permille, instead of the allowed 0.5 permille. He had to give up his driver's licence for two weeks.
Boonen had previously been stopped for speeding at the end of April, losing his license for two weeks.
The incident was not his only car-related problem this week. On Thursday, he was out training with directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters when a car turned abruptly in front of them. Boonen could not avoid hitting the vehicle, but was not injured.
Devolder and Boonen getting ready for the Tour de France First Edition Cycling News, June 2, 2008 www.cyclingnews.com
Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder had a good week of training in the Tour of Belgium this week. Boonen won the last stage in the bunch sprint, while overall winner Devolder proved to be the strongest in the peloton both uphill and against the clock. Quick Step now has riders for both the green and yellow jersey in its ranks, although Devolder isn't expected to win the Tour de France... right away.
After winning the Tour of Belgium, Devolder radiated confidence as he had shown a series of impressive performances this week. Combined with a good training week in the Alps last month and the Belgian media and public found the man to carry the hope for a good performance in the overall classification at the Tour de France in July.
The Belgian champion, however, tried to remain cool and played down the expectations a little. "My top form hasn't been reached yet, so I certainly need the Tour de Suisse to be at my absolute top in July. I'll try to take it easy over there, but I have good legs and if I'm up with the best uphill then I will not allow anybody to ride away. Still I will try not to force anything because the only thing that matters is the Tour," Devolder confirmed that he has high hopes for a good performance in France.
Team-mate Tom Boonen won the last stage in a bunch sprint and that in his first week of competition right after his post Spring Classics break. "I had done my part of the work this week and felt tired in a good way. I had been riding with my nose in the wind quite a bit and winning a power sprint after that is good for the moral," the strong Belgian one-day specialist said to Sporza after his victory in Putte.
When asked if there wouldn't be a conflict of interests in the team with both a sprinter and a rider for the overall classification lining up at the start of the Tour de France, Boonen tried to explain why that wasn't the case. "It's a luxury, and we will not make problems about that. Stijn is strong uphill, but he only needs to follow the best riders at that stage," Boonen hinted out that Devolder didn't need too many team-mates in the mountains.
"The work that is done for me is good for Stijn as well. If there's a train then he can sit behind me to stay in a good position." Devolder carries the hope of many Belgians for a strong performance in the Tour de France, but Boonen didn't want to add more expectations than needed. "We should wait after Switzerland. He has trained very hard, but Switzerland will teach us more. We shouldn't expect that Stijn will win the Tour... at least not this year," Boonen concluded.
The latest nexs about Tom. It's a while here, but he's now (probably) preparing for the TdF and that's why no nesw from and about him lately.
Tom: 'It all has its pretty perspectives' 16-04-2008
Tom has won his second Paris-Roubaix. Next on the list are the green jersey in the Tour and the rainbow jersey at the Worlds. "Even though I realize the line between winning and losing is a thin one", he mentioned.
On Tuesday, a very relaxed Tom held a press conference in Antwerp and he admitted he hadn't yet fully recovered from his efforts in the Hell of the North. "Which will last a couple of more days for sure. Things were quite hectic during and after the race", he said.
"I'm not surprised I can handle the pressure that well. Simply because I knew I had been working hard in the preparation. It is true that the line between winning and losing is a very thin one. Imagine a puncture about a kilometer before the finish: we wouldn't be sitting here right now and my classics season would have been without a major victory", Tom realized.
"Sometimes I simply don't get it why particular journalists keep on trying to focus on the bad things and leave the good things aside. I was a very young rider when I sort of appeared from nowhere and everyone in the press was happy about my efforts and results. However, when things go not according to plan, they try and write you down."
Will the green jersey of the Tour be the next aim? "It all depends on the first week. If I survive that one well and I have enough points already, the green jersey certainly becomes a goal", he looked into the future.
And the Worlds in Varese? "I quite enjoyed the route, even though you can never compare a reconnaissance with a race. During a worlds, the riders only race for two laps. The major aim is to still be fresh enough to finish it off when and where necessary."
"But those are sorrows for later. After the Scheldeprijs Wilfried Peeters and I will sit down and take a good look at my further schedule", Tom concluded.
Tornado Tom Boonen has proved to be too fast on the road, and will now have to get around on just his bike for a while. The Quick Step rider was clocked driving at 120 km/h in a 70 km/h zone in Mol, Belgium on Thursday night and as a result has lost his driving licence for 14 days. The police confirmed that they caught the former world champion in a radar trap.
"I drove too fast and I will pay for that," Boonen told SportWereld. "It was a very successful police action because they stopped many people. The difference is that those people will not be in the newspapers the next day, and I will. But wrong is wrong, I have no problem with that."
According to Belgian law, Boonen will have to forfeit his driver's licence for 14 days, and had to be driven home from the incident. After a police investigation it will be decided whether there will be additional sanctions, such as a further driving ban, a fine, or a driving course.