Belgian National Road Championship: Boonen Brings Home the Belgian Title
Tom Boonen wrapped up an incredible day for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, winning the Belgian National Championship close to his own home.
As Nikolas Maes was up the road with a six rider break, Boonen and Julien Vermote attacked the peloton in an attempt to bridge. They had Jan Bakelandts (RadioShack-Nissan), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator), Gorik Gardeyn (Champion System), and Kristof Goddaert (AG2R - La Mondiale) with them. However, once they reached Maes and his break mates, Boonen decided to attack again and split the group with 20km remaining.
Boonen and five others, including Vermote, managed to stay away despite a very small gap in the final kilometers. Vermote gave a superb leadout, and it was up to Boonen to take the victory. He beat Goddaert and Vandousselaere to the line for the win.
Boonen's victory brings the total for the team, in three disciplines, to 43.
"For me it's something special to win in front of all my supporters in my region," Boonen said about his win in Belgium. "It was a difficult race. Actually I was happy about the rain, because I knew that in these kind of weather conditions the race would have been even harder in the final. When I attacked, I thought I could try solo, but there was too much wind. After a while I attacked again because there wasn't a great collaboration in our small group. The team was super strong today and in the final I counted on a great Julien Vermote, who did a great job for me. I finalized the good team work. I'm in good condition — I really worked hard in the last week. As I said, after the Classics this was my goal. Now I can look forward to the Olympics and train hard for my next goal."