Tom Boonen confirmed for comeback at Tour de Picardie
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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Tom Boonen confirmed for comeback at Tour de Picardie

by Ben Atkins at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Belgian champion chooses French race over California to help re-find race rhythm

tom boonenHaving announced yesterday that he is to miss the Amgen Tour of California, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has confirmed that he will make his return to racing at the Tour de Picardie, which starts on Friday, May 10th. The Belgian champion has not raced since crashing out of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, on March 31st, where he damaged his knee and hip, as well as fracturing a rib, and the smaller French race has been deemed more suitable for a return to the peloton.

"My crash at Ronde van Vlaanderen was quite serious and it took a while to recover," said Boonen. "I still have pain on my hip and my back, but day-by-day the situation is getting better, and I can train regularly.

“The fact is that Tour of California is a great race, but it is longer and you have to be fit for this reason, as well as the challenging parcours," he added.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step hopes that Boonen will be able to regain his fitness in the relatively less demanding race in northern France, as he begins his preparation for his summer programme.

"Tom started training with the right intensity only in the last two weeks," said directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters. "We consider this one the best way to get Tom into the race rhythm and give him a few more days to tune up his condition after the short French stage race. The rest of Tom's program will be defined in the upcoming days."

With big battles between sprinters expected on the relatively flat parcours - with Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) expected to be among the big names fighting out the stage finishes - Omega Pharma-Quick Step will be looking to British youngster Andy Fenn to take his first victory of the season.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the Tour de Picardie
Tom Boonen, Andrew Fenn, Nikolas Maes, Frantisek Rabon, Niki Terpstra, Kristof Vandewalle, Martin Velits

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