Former Paris-Roubaix champion Eddy Planckaert says Tom Boonen made a mistake by not offering Mathew Hayman a deal to win Paris-Roubaix

Tom Boonen should have come to a deal with Mathew Hayman to allow him to win his fifth Paris-Roubaix in April, according to 1990 winner Eddy Planckaert.

Het Laatste Nieuws reports that Planckaert, who works as an analyst for Sporza, said that Boonen had made a “big mistake” by not offering Hayman something to effectively throw the race, as was allegedly common in the past.

But former rider and now race director of Ghent-Wevelgem Frank Hoste replied that this sort of practice is in the past, with the millions of pounds of sponsor money now in the sport.

Planckaert is reported to have said in Dag Allemaal magazine: “Look, if it were me in Tom’s situation, I would have made a deal with Hayman. That guy was satisfied with the situation in which he’s able to compete with the best riders in this race.

“Just promise him ‘something’ in exchange for his cooperation/assistance. Hayman must have been interested in such a deal, he would never believe that he had a shot at winning.”


Watch Mathew Hayman win the 2016 Paris-Roubaix


Hoste admitted that this used to be common practice, but denied that it would have been an option at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix.

“If you went with two at the line and you finished second, you had to make that you had earned something. This is how it used to be,” he told Belgian Radio 1.

“With the budgets now in this sport – between 10 and 25 million [euros] – working for another team out of the question…if anything ever leaked out, it may give a sponsor a reason to quit immediately.”

  • two20

    Vino would have had a man at the velodrome with a bag of used notes, luckily cycling has moved on.

  • ummm…

    well, lets not slander the man! Vices are a varied and wonderous hobby.

  • ummm…

    we ask one to “prove” a mathematical theorom; asking me to prove why I have casted doubt upon the integrity of a pro cyclist is like asking me to prove that the sun is going to come up in the morning.

  • Sutton Atkins

    No worries, tas9. 🙂
    I do understand, it IS possible to be a great rider and have low moral values at the same time.
    I don’t think it is “politically correct” to want to win fairly (without ‘making a deal’). I think it it just good old fashioned honesty, high moral values.

  • tas9

    I just wanted to point out that Erik Planckaert was a great rider, no matter what he says on Twitter or in the media in the Politic Correctness Era we are now. Didn’t mean to upset you Sutton. Bye.

  • gr1nch

    The mass of kermesses (criteriums or town-centre races) right after the Tour de France, are well known, still, for having a few fixed results. Because they are considered important in publicity and prestige, but not in racing terms (eg UCI points) this prescribe goes on under the radar of the non-cycle racing public, ie no one cares to stop it. No harm is considered done and it’s entertainment – akin to wrestling.

  • llos25

    You have proof of course?

  • J1

    Don’t mention his coke habit though….damn.

  • Shane in Wonderland

    The comments and discussion for this article have proved more entertaining and better expressed than the article itself. ummm & Sutton, well done Gentlemen, that’s how a well placed debate brings some fun to this site…

  • DoNotSeekTheTreasure

    Nobody “expects” the Spanish inquisition!

  • ummm…

    point taken.

  • Sutton Atkins

    The moral part I was referring to was whether someone should “fix” a race or not. This can be a moral decision. … and they are on bikes. So there are moral decisions in cycling, as in all sports.

    I wasn’t shocked. And I didn’t suddenly “fallout of love” with Eddy P. I just voiced my opinion.

  • ummm…

    anyway who cares. i dunno why im so aggresive. ride safely

  • ummm…

    cycling has nothing to do with morals. You think a race has a moral element, while you fail to take into account that every race in cycling has had one goal (and plenty of cheating); to WIN.

    I dont like to see somebody paying for a race or doping but I didnt suddenly fall out of love with Eddy P because of a certain viewpoint. I was pretty much aware of the history of all ex pros. If this is what made you aware of his viewpoint, then you DONT know cycling history.

  • Sutton Atkins

    My awareness of the history of cycling, should not affect my judgement of a moral situation.

  • ummm…

    assumptions indeed. not going to debate that. but your words can be seen as incongruous with a person aware of cycling history.

  • Sutton Atkins

    You’ve made many assumptions in your statement.
    Move along.

  • ummm…

    and you were probably always wrong.

  • ummm…

    if you only knew what was really going on in cycling you’d have a crisis of ethics. move along.

  • ummm…

    i read it. there are a lot of people that just dont understand the history of cycling – or sport in general. These types will always be surprised.

  • ummm…

    yeah tom thanks for not cheating or using PEDs, that we are aware of.

  • Sutton Atkins

    Perfectly calm thanks. You?
    Just pointing out that what he said wasn’t really practically possible, and voicing my opinion that I don’t respect this.
    But maybe you read it with an angry tone.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I always said Tom was one of the good guys.

  • tas9

    Some guys here should read Kimmage’s “Rough Ride”… Cycling wasn’t “Peppa Pig” world and it isn’t right now.. I’m sure fixing races is still being done nowadays…

  • tas9

    Yeah, let’s get this Planckaert guy to the Spanish Inquisition (kidding) .. I mean, really? Come on, buddy, calm down a bit.

  • Alan59

    Race fixing , no thanks !

  • Sutton Atkins

    1. I now have zero respect for this guy.. what’s his name? Mr. Nobody Planckaert
    2. Boonen was supposed to make a deal with Hayman in the minute or two they were away alone? or…
    3. Boonen was supposed to make a deal with 4 other riders?
    4. It all came back together on the last lap of the velodrome, 5 guys toughing it out. He’s supposed to make a deal with them with 700m to go while the sprint is building?
    5. What a w*@#er (Planckaert) #NoClass

  • Florin

    Is he for real??? What a sad insight into what the sport used to be like

  • Malaprop

    What an old fashioned narcissistic view. In his opinion, Hayman should have just been satisfied basking in th eglow of Boonen’s wheel. You have to wonder how many of his ‘wins’ were gifts. Maybe some of those ‘old stars’ were just creations for the sponsor. Hopefully we’re going to get some real racing. Clearly Boonene is a class above Planckaert.

  • PavoFahrer

    he didn’t deal, gave his all, just lost and accepted his loss like a true sportsman (see picture of him looking at Roubaix-Cobblestone in prize ceremony) – makes us respect Tommeke even more !!!!

  • Horia Popan

    Tom was supposed to promise stuff to three other riders which were in the bunch arriving at the finish line. A risky deal to pull off. And for what? To win one more of the same trophy and undeservingly this time? It is good he did not try. If something cycling needs more honesty.