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Boonen to begin goodbye tour in Argentina

The veteran Belgian will line up at the Tour de San Juan later this month. He aims to win Paris-Roubaix one final time.

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Tom Boonen of Quick-Step Floors begins his career-ending goodbye at the Tour de San Juan later this month.

The veteran Belgian will debut his final season at the five-day race in Argentina (January 24-29) to conclude his career with an attempt to win a record fifth Paris-Roubaix in April.

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“It is not a secret that Paris-Roubaix is my big seasonal goal,” Boonen said in a press release Thursday. “I will try to get a victory, but I don’t want to take many risks due to my big goal in April. And we have a great sprinter with Fernando Gaviria in the team, who is the leader for the mass sprints.”

Boonen’s final schedule has yet to be revealed, but it will likely follow a familiar pattern. After San Juan, he will continue to search for mild weather to race in, and could line up in Spain and Portugal, as he did last year at the Volta a Valenciana and Volta ao Algarve in February, or perhaps race the Tour of Oman. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne could follow, two races he’s won throughout his career, ahead of a likely start in Paris-Nice, his preferred preparation race before the major dates in March and April. After that, it would be straight into the spring classics, with Scheldeprijs as his final race in Belgium ahead of Paris-Roubaix.

Focused on winning a record fifth Paris-Roubaix, Boonen is in no mood to be nostalgic, but said his 2005 world title and his wins across the pavé stand out in his career.

“Every single victory I’ve had in career is a nice memory, as well as winning some ‘little’ races gave me a great pleasure due to some circumstances,” he said. “But if I have to choose some of them, I’d say the road world championship in 2005, the four Paris-Roubaix, and the three Tour of Flanders.”

With 112 wins in his 16-year career, he’s dreaming of winning a fifth and final Roubaix in April.

Quick-Step Floors for Tour de San Juan

Tom Boonen
Fernando Gaviria
Maximiliano Richeze
Tim Declercq
R��mi Cavagna
Pieter Serry