Friday, July 07, 2006

Off The Rails

Yesterday, Tom Boonen lost another sprint, this time to fellow World Championship winner Oscar Freire. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Quick Step has absolutely no lead-out train whatsoever. In the sprint yesterday, only Pippo Pozzato and Steven De Jongh were in front of Boonen leading the peloton into the final straight. That doesn't sound so bad, except that their lead-out effort was so weak that the Credit Agricole train actually caught and passed them. Passed them! That left Boonen in a lousy position and the rest is history.

Boonen is not the kind of sprinter that can go it alone. Like Ale-Jet Petacchi, Boonen needs at least two, maybe three strong guys to lead him out in the final 1000 meters. He doesn't have that at all so far at the Tour de France, and it's pathetic to watch.

Who ever heard of the best sprinter in the world's lead-out train getting passed in the final 500 meters of ANY race, let alone a stage of the Tour? It's a damn travesty! Where the hell is Guido Trenti when you need him?