Last night, we received this press from Quick-Step regarding their rosters for this weekend’s races. Share your comments below.
23-Mar-2011: Quick-Step Cycling Team will be lining up this weekend at the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem, with two squads ready to rumble.
Tom Boonen will be participating in the Gent-Wevelgem.
“We chose this option because at this point in the season the team needs to rack up some important points for the team standingsâ€ Team Manager Patrick Lefevere says â€œThis is why we decided to put Tom Boonen in the Gent Wevelgem; our aim is to ride a good race and collect valuable points for our team classification.”
“It isn’t easy for me to choose between two races of such stature and traditionâ€ Tom Boonen says â€œI would have liked to race in both of them, but we’ve chosen Gent Wevelgem because for us at this time the World Tour is really important.”
What are your thoughts on Boonen missing a race he’s won 4 times to try and earn the team World Points? Is it a sensible move, or yet another why the World Tour’s a bad idea?
Share your comments below.
Started following professional cycling last year. Is there a place that easily explains the points and team classifications system?
Boonen is the primary reason that Quick-Step is Pro Tour. And while it's unfortunate that he is skipping (whether it's his decision or not) a race he's dominated in the past to rack up points so his team can remain at the highest level of the sport, that's what the team gets for having so few other riders that consistently deliver results.
"at this point in the season the team needs to rack up some important points for the team standings"
Is Boonen really relegated to racking up points? Me, I think they're hoping to set him up for the win with some fresh legs on Sunday. Ask the Belgian media, they don't publish the World Tour rankings, instead every day they're asking "why hasn't Boonen won yet".
I wonder if the change of schedule is being done to avoid a Boonen vs Cance meeting prior to PR? It can not be good mentally to watch Cance drop you again and again – so a prep race without Cance may be better for Boonen to prepare for mentally then having to face that right now.
I don't think it's any of the reasons stated above. Points decide the order of the cars in the caravan, in a race like PR or RVV car placement is vital due to flats, so if a win on Sunday can get some points, there's an advantage to be had.
Also, before the recent calendar change which put Wevelgem the day after another race, it had historically been the more prestigous race to win. Arguably third to PR and RVV in the Northen Cobbled Classics.
Just Joshin: you can't know much about cycling history, while Fabian did have a historic 2011 campaign, Boonen made him and Ballan look like they were standing still in the Roubaix velodrome in getting his second title.
Adam, no need to be so harsh on JustJoshin – I think he was talking more recently than 3 years ago.
If Boonen and Cance arrive in the velodrome together, Boonen will win. I think the "if" is key. Cance's form last year was phenomenal and he's looking pretty damn good so far this year. Boonen's 2005 was perhaps even better then Cance last year (he did the double and the RR WC). I know enough history to not doubt he can do this. I am just suggesting that, for Boonen, skipping a pre-monument ride against Cance can't hurt him. The points argument to move the car up is great – and I know it's legit, but I find it to be an excuse.
(credit to a friend @ Podium Cafe) Why Boonen's doing Gent-Wevelgem instead of E3:
â€œIt isnâ€™t easy for me to choose between two races of such stature and tradition" Tom Boonen says "I would have liked to race in both of them, but weâ€™ve chosen Gent Wevelgem because for us at this time the World Tour is really important.â€
"Gent-Wevelgem is a shit race. I donâ€™t like it. "
â€”May 2011 CycleSport
Sorry for the formatting there…and also, the last bit is just a joke (the quote). I just thought it was funny.
The cool thing is we get to see if this was the right call in a couple weeks – and Boonen vs Cance (never mind Hushovd, Flecha, Ballan, etc) is all kinds of awesome!