Boonen satisfied with condition prior to season debut in Tour of Oman
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Boonen satisfied with condition prior to season debut in Tour of Oman

by VeloNation Press at 2:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
Belgian still getting over surgery but good block of training done

tom BoonenCounting down the days until he finally begins his 2013 season in the Tour of Oman, Tom Boonen has reported that he is still recovering from the effects of surgery but that he is otherwise pleased with the work he has been able to put in with his team in Mallorca.

The Belgian rider has just completed a week of hard work with the Omega Pharma Quick Step team and while he admits he’s still some way off where he would normally be, that he remains focussed on the Classics.

“I am quite happy about the training I've been doing,” he stated today. “I put together something like 1000 kilometers of training in six days, with a day of rest in between. We only had to skip two hours of training due to the rain. For the rest, we always trained with good weather, and that was important.”

In January Boonen crashed while training on his mountain bike and cut his elbow. The injury initially didn’t seem serious, but it became infected and he ultimately had to have an operation to make things right.

As a result he was forced to cancel his planned participation in the Tour de San Luis and Tour of Qatar, but he’s getting closer to a fully recovery from that. “The arm still hurts a bit, because I can't stretch it completely following the surgery. But OK, it just means I can't completely stretch my arm, or completely grab the handlebar in the bottom part,” he said. “I can't stay in a certain position for a long time, but that's because it's only been two and a half weeks since my surgery. I need more time to recover.”

Other than that, he’s satisfied enough, even if he would normally be fitter at this point of the season. “My condition is improving, even if it is not at the point I am expecting at this time of year. I have to deal with it, and do my best to be fit for the next races,” he said. “Now, we go to Oman where I hope to find good weather there, and be able to do another block of work that is important prior to the Classics."

While he’d normally be the rider the team backs in Qatar, he has been pleased to see his new team-mate Mark Cavendish take up the reins there. The Briton has won two stages and is the new overall leader, making it very possible that he could win overall.

“I heard about it, and watched a few videos online of Mark's wins, even if I can't follow online every day because of training,” he said. “I can't watch the race live, but in the evening I can read the reports on the OPQS website and I know the guys are doing really well. I am really proud of it. I also had a short chat with Mark. He is happy everything is going well. I hope the team can continue with their winning mood.”

The 32 year old is returning to Belgium tonight. He will continue his training there prior to flying out to Oman on Saturday.

One of his big aims this year is to again win Paris-Roubaix, a feat which would give him the absolute record of five victories in the race.


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