Boonen forced to bring his season to an early close due to a persistent cyst
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Boonen forced to bring his season to an early close due to a persistent cyst

by VeloNation Press at 9:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Saddle sore not healing sufficiently for rider to compete again this year

Tom BoonenHaving struggled with the effects of a bad saddle sore since July and being forced to miss several races as a result, Tom Boonen and his Omega Pharma Quick Step team have taken the difficult decision to bring his year to an early conclusion.

A persistence of the cyst on his perineum and a wound in the area means that he has had to scrap any thoughts of racing again in 2013.

“It’s terrible news but unfortunately I was expecting it,” explained Boonen in a team statement. “There isn’t much you can do for this type of problem but take the proper time to heal.

“For a rider it is definitely one of the most delicate injuries. I’m very disappointed; physically I feel fine and after the stage victory at Tour de Wallonie I was looking forward to a good end to the season. However, last week I got on my bike and after one hour the wound opened up again. It’s useless to go on like this.”

Boonen first suffered the problem two years ago. He recovered then, but it has flared up once again and he is determined to fully recover from it and put an end to the problem.

Team doctor Yvan Vanmol said that it is not realistic for him to try to push through the issue. “It’s clear that in these conditions training just isn’t possible,” he explained. “Even though the cyst has become smaller, it’s still very painful and the wound is still vulnerable. We want to avoid the risk of an operation which, due to the delicate position and the scar formation, could create problems for the rider in the future.”

As a result he, Boonen and the team agreed to take things more conservatively, giving the rider time for the cyst to be reabsorbed into his system. He hopes that this will prevent it reoccurring again.

“Tom already had this problem in 2011. This is why we want to take every precaution in this case and not underestimate the injury. In the next weeks we will carry out more exams to carefully analyse the pressure point on the saddle in order to avoid future relapses,” he said.

Boonen had a storming 2012 season, winning a host of races including Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. However things haven’t gone to plan at all this season. In December he suffered bad food poisoning and ended up in hospital, then in January he was hospitalised once again due to a very bad infection in his elbow.

That week-long stay caused him to miss the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Qatar, and he was short of form heading into the Classics season.

His frustration was further compounded when he crashed out of both Gent Wevelgem and the Ronde van Vlaanderen. He missed Paris-Roubaix due to a fractured rib.

With his misfortune rumbling on since then and a stage in the Tour de Wallonie his sole UCI-ranked victory in 2013, Boonen wants to turn a page and concentrate on next season.

“The team staff and I have agreed to give the injury time to heal and then in October I will immediately start preparing for 2014,” he said. “Also in 2011 due to the same problem I anticipated the winter preparation for 2012, which turned out to be one of my best seasons. The objective is to be ready right away in 2014.”

He emphasised that the frustration of this year has increased his determination. “This period of forced stoppage will inspire me even more. I’m motivated and I really want to make an important mark next season for me and for my OPQS Team,” he said.


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