Sunday, 3 April 2016


The similarities between “Tommeke” Tom Boonen and “Spartacus” Fabian Cancellara are uncanny. To choose who is the best rider of the two would be like choosing between two of your own siblings. Different characteristics have produced comparable results. Boonen is the sprinter of the two (or at least he was at the height of his career), while Cancellara has the better tactical sense, mostly.
Both have been victims of horrible crashes and in Boonen’s case, of personal tragedies. The last few years have not been the most prolific for the Belgian rider. Boonen’s last sizeable victory was at the 2014 edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne; nothing this year as yet as he’s recovering from a head injury, which occurred last October at the inaugural Tour of Abu Dhabi.
Cancellara is on his last season and although 2015 didn’t go as planned (crashed out of the Tour de France while holding the Yellow Jersey), he has started the 2016 in amazing form, winning Strade Bianche and a time trial in Algarve, while also being in contention on an handful of other races.
So, in theory, with the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, it looks like the Swiss will have the upper hand over the Belgian.
However, in terms of career wins, Boonen betters Cancellara but only in the minor classics.
This is how close they are.

Boonen (7)3 Flanders and 4 Roubaix
Cancellara (7)3 Flanders, 3 Roubaix and 1 Milan-Sanremo

Boonen (8+1): 6 Tour de France, 2 Vuelta and 1 Points classification
Cancellara (10): 7 Tour de France, 3 Vuelta

STAGE RACES > CANCELLARA (fewer but more prestigious races)
Boonen 7: Belgium, Picardie, 4 Qatar, World Port Classic
Cancellara 5: Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Suisse, Denmark, Oman, ZLM

Boonen (20):  
World Championship
5 E3 Harelbeke
3 Gent Wevelgem
2 Schelderprijs
3 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
2 National Championships
Dwars door Vlaanderen
Paris Brussels
Munsterland Giro
Rund um Koln
Cancellara (8):  

3 Strade Bianche
3 E3 Harelbeke
2 National Championships

Although the rainbow jersey has somehow eluded Cancellara, he has won one Olympic gold for the individual time trial, 4 individual World TT titles and has been 9 times Swiss ITT champion. Boonen won one Team Time Trial gold in 2012.

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