Tendon strain and fatigue lead Boonen to skip Amstel Gold Race
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tendon strain and fatigue lead Boonen to skip Amstel Gold Race

by VeloNation Press at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Amstel Gold Race, Injury
 
Tour of California suggested as potentially being Belgian’s next race

Tom BoonenCiting both an ongoing tendon problem and fatigue as the reason, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix victor Tom Boonen has confirmed that he will now not line out in the Amstel Gold Race this coming Sunday. Instead, it is believed that he will take a break from competition until the Tour of California.

"It's a problem that I have since Paris Nice" Boonen said, referring to a tendon problem in his left foot. "The vibrations on the cobblestones on Sunday have worsened it. It’s nothing serious but it’s better to stop and rest.”

The Omega Pharma Quick Step rider’s decision is not altogether surprising as many other riders who do the Flanders/Roubaix double also opt to skip Amstel. The last rider to do the double, Fabian Cancellara, made the same decision in 2010 due to fatigue.

Boonen had indicated before Paris-Roubaix that he was likely to ride in order to build experience and thus prepare for his future goal of winning the race. He also indicated that he saw Sunday’s race as a chance to preview some of the roads that this year’s world championships will cover.

"First I need experience. You really need to know the route well if you are going to compete in the Amstel Gold Race. I still have some years left in professional cycling, and I think in the coming seasons I could have a prominent role,” he said then.

“This year I will try to take my chances because the Cauberg is a hill that I can handle well. But my first goal is to work for Sylvain Chavanel.”

Now, one week later, he said that he regrets having to make the decision he has taken. “I’m sad because I wanted to ride the Amstel in support of my teammates after the great support the team gave me during these three weeks. But the season is still very long and, after talking with the team, we have mutually decided to not take risks for the upcoming races.

“I’m also still very tired, the Roubaix is always a very demanding race. The team is very strong and prepared. I'm sure the guys will be working hard again this Sunday."

The team said that he would take some time to rest, and that his racing programme would be finalized shortly. However Het Nieuwsblad, which spoke to him on the issue, suggested that the Tour of California could be his next appointment.

If so, it means that he would be out of action for over a month. The American race begins on May 13th and runs for eight days.

Boonen has already clocked up nine wins this year. He started with a stage in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, then clocked up two stages plus the overall in the Tour of Qatar in February. In March he snagged a stage of Paris-Nice plus both the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem, then this month he completed that rare Flanders/Roubaix double.

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