Boonen to withdraw from Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde but is okay for Flanders
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boonen to withdraw from Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde but is okay for Flanders

by VeloNation Press at 2:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Defending champion wants to rest up before Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen

Tom BoonenIn what can be interpreted as a precautionary measure, Tom Boonen has decided not to continue in the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde race, with Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen taking priority over the current event.

Boonen has been recovering from a crash in Sunday’s Gent Wevelgem. While he said after yesterday’s stage that he was satisfied with how his sore knee was holding up, and reiterated that today, he has decided to play things safe and to rest up a little prior to this weekend’s Classic.

As defending champion, he wants to ensure that his knee is as close to perfect as possible, and that he is fresh for Sunday.

"I'm very happy about the victory of Mark, he deserves it and the team supported him very well today,” Boonen said after the stage victory of his Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mate Mark Cavendish.

The Belgian did a lot of riding during today’s stage to control the race for his team, and consequently played a big part in setting up Cavendish’s stage win.

At the same time, that riding enabled him to give himself a good workout and to try to further hone his form.

“Concerning me, it was a 'good day at the office'. After the race I did 30 minutes on the home trainer just to relax the muscles after the race. The knee is quite good, even if it hurts a bit when I am full gas,” he said. “But I can live with it.

“Now it's important to recover well at home in the next 24 hours and on Friday I will join the rest of the team to get into the mood of the race. I wish to the guys here in De Panne all the best for tomorrow. I'm sure they can get again good results.”

Aside from the team hoping to clock up one or more victories in the two remaining stages, two of its riders are also poised to fight for the overall lead.

Cavendish and Sylvain Chavanel are sitting third and fourth overall at the halfway point of the race, five and six seconds respectively behind the Frenchman Arnaud Démare (FDJ).

The latter moved into the leader’s jersey after day one winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) drifted off the back of the bunch. Démare had placed second yesterday and was fourth today, and is two seconds ahead of closest challenger Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

The Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde continues tomorrow with a 112.6 kilometre road race and then a 14.75 kilometre afternoon time trial.


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