Is Tom Boonen really a cyborg as Bjarne Riis claims?
After sources close to the Quick Step camp made noises about Fabian Cancellara having a hidden motor in his bike, Riis fired back with an astonishing statement. He told reporters he believed Boonen was in fact a cyborg.
That wild assertion fanned plenty of flames, especially with news that Boonen has just undergone a successful operation on his knee. If we’re to believe Quick Step team doctor Yvan Van Mol, the procedure was just to repair some ligament damage.
However, if you believe crusading Italian journalist Alberto Diggelini, Boonen was getting a new bio-mechanical upgrade designed to make the cyborg cyclist ever faster and more deadly.
“You have to question why this “procedure” was done at a machine shop and not a hospital. And why were there armed security guards stationed outside?” asked Diggelini.
It was Diggelini who first uncovered what he claims is evidence of the Boonen cyborg scandal, a short video of a crude Boonen prototype riding a tandem with an un-named Quick Step mechanic.
What the Italian now believes should terrify everyone in the peloton. “They are creating a Boonen death machine, one that will not only win races but destroy its victims,” said Diggelini.
In what sounds like a doomsday scene from the movie Terminator, Diggelini believes that the Boonen cyborg is now equipped with the robot legs developed at Oregon State University by researcher Jonathan Hurst.
In a chilling article in Engadget entitled “New Robot Legs Become More Human, More Deadly,” Hurst describes a new design he calls Thumper. The stated goal: legs that “allow them to run towards or chase their human victims and terminate them with a more ruthless intensity.”
Will Paris Roubaix, the Hell of the North, become a bloodbath? It’s a nightmare that haunts and terrifies Diggelini. “The Boonen cyborg is just the beginning. We are witnessing an apocalypse, a chilling new era where killer cyborgs roam the ProTour circuit, terminating any human bike racer in their path,” said Diggelini.
While still reeling with the potential implications, Saxo Bank’s Bjarne Riis insisted on a cautious approach. “Cancellara is very strong, he can take care of himself. He is not afraid of the real Boonen or the Boonen cyborg. But if there are more robots, we will re-evaluate,” said Riis.