BOONEN "CAN HANDLE THE PRESSURE"
Come this Sunday Belgian star Tom Boonen has not won a race for 47 days. But Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevre insists he’s not under more pressure as a result.
“Just because he hasn’t won a big race yet in 2008 doesn’t mean he’s under more pressure.” Lefevre told Cycling Weekly.
“The media’s insistence that he always wins is always there whatever he does.
In 2007, Tom had 11 wins and took the points jersey in the Tour. But that still wasn’t enough for the local sports media. I think it wouldn’t have been enough if he’d won Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix.”
“Tom, Ballan, Cancellara, Hoste and Filippo Pozzato are the top contenders for Flanders.” Lefevre says.
He believes that the rain or snow forecast for Sunday could push Boonen back into contention.
“Us Belgians are more used to racing in that bad weather. It may help us against the Italians.”
As for the absence of Bettini in Quick Step, “His absence is regrettable, but it’ll maybe create more of a all-for-one, one-for-all structure in the team.” Lefevre says. "That could be good in the finale."
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