Q: Why did Leif Hoste keep working in the escape, knowing that you're faster in the sprint?
TB: What else could he do? If he didn't, he would finish fifth or sixth. Hincapie would also not have won from me, so that's no excuse either. We both had reasons to continue our escape, like we also both had reasons to stop it.
Also, Discovery explains what happened:
"Many people have asked, why Leif?" said Demol. "He couldn't win a sprint against Boonen. Well, I can tell you. "When Leif attacked with 32 km left it was not supposed to have been a race-deciding effort. We were trying to break up the Quick Step grip on the front of the race. We figured a big effort could get the numbers down to maybe two of them and two of us and then we'd see how it went. Leif was surprised to see that he had only Boonen with him, and radioed back to me to see what he should do. "I told Leif that he could cooperate but that Boonen had to take the longest pulls. I also told him that if George could bridge up, then Leif could not pull any more and he'd have to wait for George. Leif was completely happy with this plan, as was Johan [Bruyneel] when I spoke with him later. I radioed George and told him to try and drop the riders he was with and then Leif will be waiting for you. George agreed and put in a big effort on the Muur, but couldn't shake the guys he was with, and that's why Leif and Boonen went to the line 1-2."