Boonen crashes out of the Tour of Flanders
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Boonen crashes out of the Tour of Flanders

by Shane Stokes at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders, Injury
Spring Classics campaign may be over

Tom BoonenTom Boonen’s chances of repeating his Ronde Van Vlaanderen/Paris-Roubaix double ended approximately twenty kilometres after the start of today’s Tour of Flanders, with the Belgian crashing heavily.

The Omega Pharma Quick Step rider hit the deck half an hour after the end of the neutralised section, with Boonen landing hard on the ground. He hit his right hip on the ground and was unable to remount his bike.

He withdrew from the race and has been taken to hospital in Roeselare for medical examination. His Omega Pharma Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere has said that he believes his spring campaign is at an end.

Boonen has had considerable bad luck in recent months. He was hospitalized due to bad food poisoning in December and had another stay in hospital in January due to an arm infection which could, had it not been operated on in time, have seen him lose him the limb.

Those two factors caused him to miss his early season programme of the Tour de San Luis and Tour de Qatar, but he returned to racing in the Tour of Oman and tried to get back on track.

His third misfortune occurred last Sunday when he crashed out of Gent Wevelgem, injuring his knee, although it recovered sufficiently for him to return to racing two days later.

Had Boonen won Paris-Roubaix this year, he would have set the all time record of five victories in the race. If Lefevere is indeed correct and his spring campaign is over, he will have to wait another year for the chance to achieve that feat.

“I cursed hard,” said Lefevere, according to Sporza. “It is particularly a severe blow mentally for Tom. Since December he has been behind due to bad luck. I think his spring is over. Tomorrow he would otherwise have to train, but I don’t see it happening.”

The team’s press officer Alessandro Tegner has since provided an update as to his condition. “Boonen has a contusion at his left hip, as well as a wound on his left elbow,” he said. “He also has a contusion and a wound on his right knee that required a few stitches. Boonen is now undergoing X-rays to exclude any fractures.”

More details later…


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