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Tom Boonen is considering a return to racing

Soon to be 40, the Tommeke is tempted by a return to the peloton

Joe Robinson
4 Mar 2020

Cobbled Classics superstar Tom Boonen is musing a return to the professional peloton. The seven-time Monument winner appeared on Belgian television to promote his new TV series, Tom Cycle, and was asked the inevitable question of whether he would return to racing.

In response, Boonen said: 'Can I think about it for a very long time and very hard? I sometimes wonder myself the same question.

'Last week I said, how easy or how hard would it be? I sometimes ask myself that question. Certainly because of the return of Kim Clijsters. It is an option. I will be 40 at the end of this year. If I ever have to do it once, it’s going to have to be now.'

Belgian tennis player Clijsters returned to professional competition earlier this year after an eight-year absence.

Boonen hung up his wheels in 2017 after racing his final Paris-Roubaix, a race in which he finished 13th. It drew to a close a 17-year career that saw the Belgian become one of the most decorated Classics stars of all time.

The Flandrian won a record-equalling four Paris-Roubaix cobblestones and record-equalling three Tour of Flanders titles. He also holds the record for the most wins at E3-Harelbeke with five.

If he wanted to return to racing, it is likely he will look for a return to Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team in which he experienced his career success.

Interestingly, in the same interview, Boonen suggested that any possible return to the peloton would see him enter a more experienced rider due to what he has learned from being out of the bubble of racing.

'I find it very strange, but I actually have a lot more experience than when I was racing myself. If I watch TV or go to a race, everything happens without you having a handle on it,' said Boonen.

'Making that switch is still difficult for me, I think. I live much harder with the race now and go much harder than I used to.'

A return to the peloton for one more shot at the Spring Classics would certainly make headlines but as for returning results, it is hard to see that happening.