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Three-time winner greeted by fans outside Antwerp city hall

Tom Boonen was given a memorable send-off in Antwerp this morning ahead of what is his final ever Tour of Flanders.

Boonen, who retires after Paris-Roubaix next Sunday, was treated to a Flemish rendition of the ‘Viking Thunderclap’ made famous by Icelandic fans and players at the UEFA 2016 European Football Championships last summer.

It happened as he rode up to the signing on podium in Antwerp before today’s 101st edition of the race, which Boonen has won a record equalling three times.

Other tributes to Boonen today include this mosaic held aloft by fans to create a portrait of the hugely popular Quick Step Floors rider.

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.