Tom Boonen won’t “even watch Roubaix” as he recovers from Flanders crash
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tom Boonen won’t “even watch Roubaix” as he recovers from Flanders crash

by Ben Atkins at 3:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Injury
Belgian champion writes off Classics season and doesn’t know when he’ll resume training

tom boonenTom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won’t be able to bring himself to watch this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, as he sits out the race with the injuries he sustained in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Sporza reports. The Belgian champion came down after just 20km, two days ago, damaging his knee, hip and elbow, and was unable to defend the race he won in 2012.

The injuries sustained in Flanders also mean that Boonen won’t be able to defend his Roubaix title.

“It’s the first time I’ve crashed in the Ronde and it was immediately serious,” Boonen said in an interview with Flemish TV station VTM. “That’s the danger of those first few hours, they’re ridden really fast and if there are crashes they’re often quite large.

“In a normal crash you come down together carry on with the momentum of the peloton, but if you hit a pole you stop suddenly,” he explained. “My left side is one bruise and my knee is full of liquid.”

Boonen’s Classics season - the biggest time of year for the rider who became the most successful cobble rider in history in 2012 - is now in tatters, and his only experience of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday will be if he watches it on TV.

“I don’t think I’ll even watch Roubaix on TV,” Boonen said. “It wouldn’t be fun.

“This is especially disappointing as I have to miss the two most important days of my year,” he added. “My season stands or falls with the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.

His Ronde crash is Boonen’s third major setback this season, after his December stomach infection and January elbow operation - not to mention the crash that saw him quit Gent-Wevelgem the week before - and it is not currently certain when the Belgian champion will be back on his bike this time.

“You could say that all my training has been for nothing, but that’s also true if you get beaten,” Boonen concluded. “We just need to start again.”


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