A conversation with Tom Boonen
By Andrew HoodVeloNews European correspondent
This report filed March 30, 2006
"Tom Boonen is the new leading light of cycling.VeloNews European correspondent Andrew Hood caught up with "Tornado Tom" during Paris-Nice earlier this month. Read a story about him in the next issue of VeloNews, here are excerpts from the interview.
The strapping world champion seems to be the sparkle in everyone's eye, from salty old cycling fans to Belgian beauties who swoon at the very sight of him in his rainbow jersey.
At 24, Boonen has replaced the retired Lance Armstrong as the top draw among fans, at least if
crowds outside team buses at spring races are any fair barometer of riders' magnetism.
Boonen-mania seems to be in full flight and there's no sign of it abating anytime soon. Dubbed a Merckx for a new century, Boonen is poised to defend his double Flanders-Roubaix titles starting with this Sunday's Tour of Flanders."
Today is day four of my own late start to spring training. Almost every day since Sunday, in pretty frigid temperatures, I've done the same exact 18 mile bike ride, and of course recorded my time, average heart rate and speed to see how my body is responding to the shock it is going through. Here are the results:
Sunday: time of 1:03:05, avg speed 17.2 mph, avg heart rate 154What all of this means is that my body is primed for a very steep increase in fitness. To take 6-1/2 minutes off my time in five days is definitely a good sign. It's true that your body has a good memory. My best time ever on this course, was 51:25 last June, with an avg HR of only 158. I think I can beat that benchmark by May 1st, which would mean I'm way ahead of the curve, compared to last season. Today I almost crushed a tree rat, many times actually, unlike last season when I actually caught one under my wheel and left it in the throes of death in the middle of the bike path. Yeah I felt badly at the time, but what can you do? Re-attach it's head and nurse it back to health? -AT
Tuesday: time of 1:02:10, avg spd 17.3 mph, avg HR 153
Wednesday: time of 59:15, avg spd 18.1, avg HR 160
Thursday: time of 56:30, avg spd 18.8, avg HR 163