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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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.