Tom Boonen riding for Belgium in the 2001 under-23 men's World Championships road race. Yaroslav Popovych took the victory that day but it was just the beginning for Tommeke.
Riding as a neo-pro for US Postal in his first ever Paris-Roubaix, Boonen joined childhood hero Johan Museeuw in the breakaway earning himself a notable third place podium finish. Museeuw would go on later to call Boonen his successor.
Out-sprinting former team-mate, George Hincapie, Boonen secured his first Ghent-Wevelgem victory. The Belgian also won Schelderprijs and E3 Harelbeke in the same season, highlighting his love for the Classics.
From Classics specialist to Grand Tour stage winner, Boonen showed his versatility riding to his first grand tour stage win. A decimated field saw no Petacchi or Cipollini that day but Boonen did well to avoid a crash 1km from the finish and win in style. Tommeke would go on to win another victory in the same Tour.
The start of a golden year Boonen captured his first Tour of Flanders victory. With a solid reputation as a sprinter, the Belgian outsmarted everyone with a solo attack, breaking free from rival Peter Van Petegem extending his lead to 35 seconds and a solo victory in Meerbeke.
2005 was proving to be Boonen's coming of age as he notched his first victory at Paris-Roubaix. Once again, Boonen out-sprinted his rivals in Hincapie and Flecha at the famed velodrome.
The Belgian's hot streak continued as he secured his fourth Tour Stage win from La Châtaigneraie to Tours in 2005.
Capping off an incredible year, Tommeke earns his stripes winning the 2005 World Road Race Championship for the only time besting Alejandro Valverde and Anthony Geslin.
Boonen celebrates the win of team-mate Filippo Pozzato in the 2006 edition of Milan-San Remo. Despite his love for the spring Classics, Boonen never managed to add the Primavera to his palmarès.
Clad in the white jersey of World Champ, Boonen went on to improve on his 2005 successes with a winning defence of his 2005 Tour of Flanders title.
After running foul of race organisers, three of Boonen's race rivals were disqualified in the 2006 Paris-Roubaix pushing the reigning world champ from fourth to second. Unfortunately, a rider by the name of Fabian Cancellara took home the cobblestone trophy that year.
Despite not winning a stage at the 2006 Tour de France, Boonen wore the iconic yellow jersey for four stages before losing it to Serhiy Honchar after the edition's second time trial.
In the absence of Alessandro Petacchi and Robbie McEwen, Boonen added two more Tour stages to his palmarès finishing the race in the green sprinter's jersey. Tommeke was the first Belgian rider to do so since Eddy Planckaert in 1988.
After having to play a defensive role in team-mate Stijn Devolder's Tour of Flanders victory the week before, Boonen was ready to let loose. Going head to head with Swiss rival Fabian Cancellara, Tommeke came out on top in a close sprint finish inside the Roubaix velodrome.
After being barred from racing in the Tour de France due to being found guilty of cocaine abuse, Boonen returned to win two stages at the 2008 Vuelta a España.
Tommeke survived a hectic Paris-Roubaix in 2009 to win his third title. With several crashes decimating his contenders, he rode into the Roubaix velodrome alone for the win. Towards the end of the month Boonen was again found guilty of cocaine abuse and was suspended by his team. He went on to feature in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España but recorded no victories.
2010 was a year of despair for Tornado Tom as he was an also ran for a lot of races. First missing out on victory at the Tour of Flanders, where he came a close second to Cancellara, before Paris-Roubaix where he came fifth. Boonen would go on to miss a lot of the season due to Tendinitis.
After winning a stage at the Tour of Qatar, Boonen went on to win Ghent-Wevelgem preparing himself for another golden Classics season but it wasn't to be. After coming fourth in Tour of Flanders and dropping out of Paris-Roubaix completely he failed to complete both the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and eventually missing the Worlds due to a crash.
Another E3 Harelbeke saw another Boonen victory. This time he became the race's most prolific rider winning it for a record fifth time. The victory here was just a sign of things to come for that season.
Winning Ghent-Wevelgem for the third time sent Boonen into the history books as the fifth rider to ever do so. Winning in a bunch sprint he bested a young sprinter called Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale.
On his rise from a tumultuous year in 2011, Boonen sprinted to victory at the Tour of Flanders taking his 2012 season from strength to strength. Ultimately, this would be the last time he held the Flanders title.
Completing his renaissance, Tornado Tom pioneered to victory at the 2012 Paris-Roubaix rounding off an incredibly successful Classics campaign. The Belgian joined legend Roger de Vlaeminck at the top of the all-time leaderboard with four victories apiece. He also became the first person in history to win E3, Ghent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix all in the same season.
2013 was another year to forget for the Classics legend as he spent a lot of time visiting the hospital. Crashes in Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix left the rider with a fractured rib and a forced rest.
2014 saw Boonen slowly creep back into the scene with a win at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on the opening weekend of the season. He went on to race well at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix finishing seventh and tenth respectively.
2015 was another fruitless year for Boonen, having missed the Classics after a crash at Paris-Nice, and ended with the rider being involved in a crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour resulting in permanent damage to his hearing. After resting up Boonen was ready to take on 2016, particularly his campaign for a fifth Paris-Roubaix title.
In the hunt for that prestigious fifth Paris-Roubaix title, Boonen came a close second after losing out to a fairytale victory of 37-year old Mat Hayman who had suffered a broken arm just five weeks prior. Boonen was heralded for his aggressive riding, being labelled 'a warrior' by Bernard Hinault despite missing out. Boonen would go on to win the RideLondon-Surrey Classic in July and come third at the World Championships Road Race behind Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish.
After a blistering breakaway by Philippe Gilbert, Boonen had to settle for 37th at the 2017 Tour of Flanders. Fate proved to go against him again in his last race at Paris-Roubaix. After missing out on the final breakaway Boonen had to accept 13th position as Greg Van Avermaet took the prize in Tommeke's final farewell.