Tom Boonen’s arm

What’s significant about Tom Boonen’s arm, you might ask. What’s significant is that it’s still there.

Now that might not seem newsworthy, but you may have correctly inferred from my even mentioning this that it was at one point in grave danger. Apparently Tom got what I myself have diagnosed as ‘some sort of skeggy infection in his elbow’ and it was working its way towards the bone. Eight more hours and the only cure would have been a bout of human pollarding.

Danish scrawnbag of dopage, Michael Rasmussen, was famed for his weight reduction efforts. He would peel stickers off his bike and drill holes in the frame, but even he would probably draw the line at losing an arm for a competitive advantage. Wouldn’t he?

For his part, Boonen is happy that he’s still got his arm.

“I’m happy. I’ve still got my arm.”

As one of the larger riders, the weight reduction wouldn’t do him much good anyway. At 6ft 4ins and 82kg (yes, I’m from the generation with the most erratic attitude to units of measurement) a lost arm would probably only bring him down to Peter Sagan territory.

Besides, one of the main reasons why I like Tom Boonen is because in a sport full of emaciated short-arses, he’s massive and still successful.