Bad luck continues for Boonen as rider is confirmed as missing Tour of Denmark
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bad luck continues for Boonen as rider is confirmed as missing Tour of Denmark

by VeloNation Press at 1:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Cavendish gets back into the saddle, Omega Pharma Quick Step announces lineup for upcoming stage race

Tom BoonenIf 2012 was a year of dizzying heights, 2013 has been the opposite for Tom Boonen, with injury and illness making it a season of great frustrations for the Belgian rider.

The morale boost of notching up his first UCI win of the season eight days ago, namely stage two of the Tour de Wallonie, has ebbed with the news that he has been forced to forfeit his place in the upcoming Tour of Denmark.

He had been due to ride with his Omega Pharma Quick Step team but the Belgian squad confirmed today that he will miss the race due to a saddle sore. Instead, his compatriot Julien Vermote will step in.

The biggest name rider on the team will be Mark Cavendish, who had a slightly quieter Tour de France than recent years with two stage wins. He will be determined to clock up a solid result or two in Denmark, getting things back on track.

The Briton will be joined by compatriot Andy Fenn, Vermote, the Belgians Iljo Keisse, Guillaume Van Keirsbulk and Stijn Vandenbergh, Czech rider Frantisek Rabon and the Slovakian Martin Velits.

“I think at Tour of Denmark we always have to pay attention to the crosswinds,” said directeur sportif Brian Holm today. “You never know what's going to happen with the crosswinds at Denmark so you need to be awake.

“Normally, the big battle will be Friday. It's the 200km from Sonderborg to Vejle — the longest stage by about 20 kilometers. Then Saturday there is the 12.3km time trial after a 100km road stage.”

He said that Rabon and Velits were the most likely to ride well in the general classification, although he said that both will have to be attentive of the steep climb which appears on Friday’s stage to Vejle.

“Normally there's about 10 riders at the finish if the race doesn't spread out due to the crosswinds. Normally riders like Martin and Frantisek can do well and then hopefully also do well in the time trial on Saturday,” he said.

As regards stage wins, he is looking to riders such as Cavendish and Fenn, particularly as bunch sprints are expected.

Being a Danish race, he is sure that another WorldTour team will be particularly fired up to perform on home soil.

“As for our competitors, Saxo-Tinkoff is always very motivated. They're very strong and always creating a good race by pulling in the crosswinds,” he said. “They're normally the team to beat. But we will do our best with a strong team for good results.”

The race begins on Wednesday with a 180 kilometre stage to Varde and runs for five days.

Omega Pharma Quick Step for Tour of Denmark (DEN) 2HC:

Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Frantisek Rabon (CZE)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL)
Martin Velits (SVK)
Julien Vermote (BEL)

Tour of Denmark route:

Stage 1, July 31: Silkeborg to Varde, 180 km
Stage 2, August 1: Ribe to Sonderborg, 175 km
Stage 3, August 2: Sonderborg to Vejle, 200 km
Stage 4, August 3: Hong to Asnaes, 100 km
Stage 5, August 3: Holbaek time trial, 12.3 km
Stage 6, August 4: Roskilde to Frederiksberg, 165 km


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