Home
Google's camera car captures former world champ on training ride in Belgium...

As one of Belgium’s biggest sports stars and moreover one with a party reputation to match [ahem – ed], Tom Boonen is used to being at the centre of attention of both cycling photographers and the country's paparazzi. Now, he joins a number of road.cc users in having the claim to fame of having been caught on Google StreetView, too.

In the picture, Boonen is unmistakeable in the Belgian national champion’s jersey, a title that perhaps surprisingly he’s only ever won once, in 2009.

That fact, together with the kit worn by the Landbouwkrediet rider accompanying Tornado Tom as they and two other Quick Step riders wait outside an apartment building for a fifth companion, most likely dates the picture to some time in the 12 months from June 2009.

Boonen’s bike, however, looks like a Specialized, not a Merckx – which would pin the picture down to the latter half of 2009, and the location, the town of Lommel, is where he finished third that year behind Johan Vansummeren and Andy Schleck in the annual post Tour de France criterium.

Having said that, the clothing suggests anything but August, even given that this is Northern Europe.

What we don’t know is the identity of the other riders with him; we wondered whether the rider to Boonen’s right might have been then team mate Wouter Weylandt, which would certainly have given the image added poignancy, but what we thought were the late rider’s collar-length locks appear on closer inspection to be the helmet retention system.

Alas, our amateur sleuthing stops there, so unless Hercule Poiret fancies getting his little grey cells going, it looks like we’ll never know.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

18 comments

Avatar
andyp [1448 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Meh. I see Mark Cavendish most days in Manchester. Even when he's racing abroad. Well, it could be some tw@ wearing a rainbow jersey they haven't earned, of course.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm. If there's one place on the planet you are going to see people wearing rainbow jerseys they *have* earned, it's going to be Manchester  39

Well, there and at the BMC Racing training camp  3

Avatar
Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

So thats what the other kit is, i thought it was some national one i didn't know of and after searching through quickstep's ranks i couldn't find someone who it would have been

Saw the photo lastweek, but after doing big zooms in one the bikes and kits, i couldn't work out who it was, so unless Boonen or another one of the four plus the guy who's inside comes out and tells us, we may never know

Avatar
seabass89 [212 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Tom Boonen goes:

"Oi, stop over 'ere.. Lets check if Philippe wanna ride with us"

Sadly, Gilbert father wouldn't let him out to play..  7

Avatar
mikroos [257 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

No helmet for Mr. Boonen? Either it's not him or most probably he was caught red-handed breaking his contract (as I can't imagine he was allowed to ride his bike without a helmet).

Avatar
RhysW [81 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.227195,5.322015&spn=32.672936,93.07617...

Still no idea but you can see the same from a different angle. The guy in green is wearing a Colnago kit

Avatar
kaptnkrunch [57 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I think that following the techniques in this video we might get some more information from this picture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxq9yj2pVWk

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Rhys W: Yeah, as we say in the article, the guy in green is in Lanbouwkrediet kit - they've ridden Colnago for years, so the logo is on the kit.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
kaptnkrunch wrote:

I think that following the techniques in this video we might get some more information from this picture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxq9yj2pVWk

Blimey, you're right. That looks like a reflection of a man's face...

Avatar
Decster [246 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Is that a Felt leaning against the house, which might make it Tylar Farrar's bike and that would make it Wouter as they were regular training buddies.

Avatar
mikroos [257 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Yup, it's definitely a 2009 Felt F1 there.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm. Farrar and Weylandt both lived in Ghent, a long way from Lommel... but Johan Van Summeren was born there.

Silence-Lotto rider in 2009, Garmin-Transitions in 2010.

That's definitely a Silence-Lotto jersey in this pic, and looks tall enough to be him - maybe he's camera shy and dashed indoors  3http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.227231,5.322169&spn=32.672936,93.07617...

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Definitely Van Summeren's gaff according to Dutch press:

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/detail.aspx?articleid=DMF20111123_080

Hopefully he's moved to a bigger one after the Paris-Roubaix win...

ps I guess Lommel being his home town explains why JVS won the Crit that year... and if you zoom out of this pic and back in to the centre of town, the banners are out over the main street for the crit.

Right, I'm off before the Belgian police knock on the door...

Avatar
Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Which Quickstep rider wears yellow shoes? I've got a good zoom in on them  19 Just from quick googling it seems it could be Silvain Chavanel in them

This being the image, with all 5 riders, anyone know the dark blue kit? and there you can see the yellow shoes

http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/4724/ridersj.jpg

*edit*

For those eagle eyes, the first shot that is above you will see the rider to the right of Tom, NOW, zoom in, legs and arms both have world champ bands on them, so looking back, the guy with the yellow shoes has the bands, can only be one guy

Paolo Bettini

Just remember, you heard it here first  19

*edit*

And if not to geek it up even more

http://velochimp.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/bettini_tirreno2.jpg <<< Yellow shoes  26 26 26

*edit* (just for comedy so i don't seem like a computer geek  26 )

No one seems to be mentioning the sixth rider, you may say "there are only five bikes there" you may also say, "you just posted a picture above, showing only FIVE riders"

Ah ha, i hear you all scoffing now, BUT, you clearly did not pan round and see the 1960 and 61 world champ also multiple Belgian champ Rik van Looy (oldest Belgian rider i could find still alive) still riding his world winning bike

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/1323/riders2e.jpg

Avatar
notfastenough [3679 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Hmmm. If there's one place on the planet you are going to see people wearing rainbow jerseys they *have* earned, it's going to be Manchester  39

Very true. I regularly see groups in Team GB kit (the red and blue with Sky on the chest) and try to a. not be jealous, and b. not to look like I'm going backwards when they pass!

Avatar
andyp [1448 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm. If there's one place on the planet you are going to see people wearing rainbow jerseys they *have* earned, it's going to be Manchester
This chap is must have a fair engine then, he's built more for comfort than speed  3

Avatar
CyclistAtLarge [8 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I don't actually know who the rider in the Landbouwkrediet kit is, but I always think of Sven Nys when I see it.

Avatar
mancsi [94 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Where do you see said cyclist's? I have never spotted any team sky/GB and I live 10 mins away and cycle everywhere!?