COMPIÈGNE, France (VN) – Bad blood between Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel is a fabrication of an overly speculative media, Chavanel said Friday. Chavanel, Boonen and their Quick Step director Wilfred Peters all said that they raced the Tour of Flanders with solid tactics, and any talk of bitterness that Boonen helped chase down Chavanel was nonsense.
“I think we had the dream tactic,” Boonen said. “Chavanel was always in the front group. We were in second. Everything went perfect, all day long. Even until the last kilometer. I don’t think we could have done better. Especially when you’re riding against superman.”
When asked if the talk in the media bothered him, Chavanel replied that he wasn’t paying attention to the press this week. “I was focused on my children and on recovering,” he said. “Tom appreciates me. There is no drama within the team.”
Looking forward to Paris-Roubaix Sunday, Chavanel said that since he doesn’t have a lot of experience with the Hell of the North, he would have to consult with Boonen.
“I want to do well. I won’t hide myself,” Chavanel said. “I love this race a lot. I have good condition for it. Voila. I don’t have any certitude, but I’m concentrated on the race.”
Boonen said he appreciated going into the race with such a strong teammate on good form.
“It’s nice to be together again for Roubaix,” Boonen said. “We did a good job together in 2009. It’s always better to have two or three guys who are able to do a good final than only one.”
It’s also always better to start a head race like Roubaix without bandages, but Boonen was not so lucky this year after crashing twice at Scheldeprijs and hurting his leg.
“Today I saw that chiropractor again. We will take it day by day. My leg is not 100 percent yet, but it’s two days from now,” Boonen said. “I’m suffering a little bit on the bike, nothing big.”
Boonen did two and a half hour with his team on Friday, and will do a short spin Saturday. Otherwise they will be resting as much as possible.
Chavanel and Boonen both said that they expected a bigger group than in years past to emerge from the Arenberg Forest, partially because a headwind is expected for the race day.