Tom Boonen abandons Tour of Poland with aftereffects of stage one crash
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tom Boonen abandons Tour of Poland with aftereffects of stage one crash

by Ben Atkins at 3:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics, Injury, Tour of Poland
Belgian champion taking no chances ahead of Olympic Games road race

tom boonenTom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was forced to pull out of today’s hilly fifth stage of the Tour of Poland, between Rabka Zdroj and Zakopane, still feeing the aftereffects of his crash on stage one. The Belgian champion came down, along with Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammate and Dutch champion Niki Terpstra and Liquigas-Cannondale’s Fabio Sabatini; those other two abandoned at the time - Sabatini via ambulance - but Boonen has been soldiering on.

"The entire day was okay, a little bit painful but okay," Boonen explained. "I worked for the team without particular problems. Then in the finale, at about 30km from the finish, I did a wrong movement to avoid a pothole in the road, and suddenly I got really bad pain on the right side of my chest.

“I couldn't breathe. That's why I decided to stop,” he continued. “It's a pity. My condition is good and here the team is fantastic; there is a great atmosphere. It's hard to leave the team here, but I have to do what is best for my health leading up to the Olympics."

Boonen enjoyed an unprecedentedly successful spring, which began with a fourth overall victory in the Tour of Qatar. It was his form in the Cobbled Classics however that set all records as he took a record-breaking fifth victory in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, and a record equalling third victory in Gent-Wevelgem and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and fourth Paris-Roubaix, becoming the only rider in history to have taken all four in the same season.

After a break Boonen returned with the Tours of California and Romandie, which was less successful, but then outsprinted a six-man breakaway to take his second Belgian title. He elected not to ride the Tour de France to try to remain fresh for the Olympic Games road race, which falls just a week after the French race on July 28th, but this latest injury will undoubtedly be a setback.

Boonen will fly back to Belgium tomorrow, where he will undergo further specific medical checks, after which more information will be released.


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