Mea culpa: Tom Boonen apologizes to Colnago in week’s weirdest feud
‘My words were poorly chosen,’ says the retired classics specialist.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
It started with a podcast claim, escalated with a press release, and ended with an Instagram post.
Thus has been the lifecycle of the week’s strangest story.
Retired classics star Tom Boonen offered an apology to Ernesto Colnago and the Italian’s namesake bicycle brand for claiming last week on the Wielerclub Wattage podcast that the brand’s bikes are inferior to competitors and are holding back Tadej Pogačar, whose UAE Team Emirates is sponsored by the legacy brand.
“When I was a young rider I dreamed about one day winning Paris Roubaix on a Colnago,” Boonen wrote in an Instagram post accompanied by a famous photo of Johan Museeuw winning the 1996 Paris-Roubaix, followed in close suit by two Mapei teammates. “It’s a shame I never got a chance to ride one of your bikes. To me Colnago stands for passion and legacy. So it breaks my heart that my words where poorly chosen when I responded to Dirk’s claims in our podcast. #meaculpa I have nothing but respect for the Colnago family and their brand.”
Also read: Chairwoman, councilwomen, and the c-suite: How the times are changing within USA Cycling’s leadership
View this post on Instagram
The apology came after Colnago challenged Boonen on his statements about the brand.
“Colnago responded to Boonen’s off-the-cuff comments by offering to bring, at its expense, the Belgian and his colleagues to ride and test the V4Rs bikes used by Colnago’s sponsored teams around the company’s Italian headquarters,” a company statement earlier this week read.
What that visit would have accomplished in changing a discussion about small differences between frames detected through wind tunnel testing is hard to say.
Notably, Boonen made no mention of the brand’s technical abilities in his statement, choosing instead to focus on his respect for the brand.
Colnago has yet to respond to Boonen at the time of publication, but regardless, that should probably be the end of the story.
Then again, the brand already escalated a comment on a podcast into an outsize story, so you never know.
Hey, all publicity is good publicity, right?