Arnaud De Lie has had a neo-pro season with nine wins in 2022 and has been achieving success at a level rarely ever seen in pro cycling. Despite being incredibly young, Tom Boonen himself already compares the Belgian sprinter to Philippe Gilbert and... himself.
“I see it as a mix between me and Gilbert," Boonen said in a Sporza TV show. "And I mean the best Gilbert and the best Boonen. I expect a lot from him this year. He also has a big head. He is one of the few in this generation still young. He has literally conquered my heart."
"Two years is quickly over" - Patrick Lefevere already keen on signing Belgian supertalent Arnaud De Lie
Following Patrick Lefevere's admission that he is keen on taking the 20-year old to Soudal - Quick-Step, former team legend Tom Boonen has had nothing but good things to say of the Lotto Dstny rider. De Lie has not only won several races due to his sprint power, but he has also shown his climbing capacity.
De Lie won last year's Ronde van Limburg after attacking with a short group, and this Sunday on his season debut he immediately won the hilly Clasica Comunitat Valenciana. Although he has not faced off much with the big World Tour hitters last year he was the sixth best-scoring rider in the World Tour ranks, and this spring he will be racing spring classics such as Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix where he will get his first measures against the very best classics riders in the world.