Boonen is back in Eneco Tour
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Boonen is back in Eneco Tour

by VeloNation Press at 12:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Eneco Tour
Quick-Step sprinter Tom Boonen enjoyed his first victory since winning the Belgian national championships on home roads in the 158.3 kilometer third stage of the Eneco Tour from Niel to Hasselt. Boonen blasted out of the last curve in perfect position, breaking American Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Slipstream) grip on the bunch finishes, and emerging from a slump that saw him retire early from the Tour de France. Italian Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) came in third.

"This is the first victory I’ve taken this year while wearing the National Champion’s jersey," explained Boonen

"I was looking forward to this stage - it was important to me to do well.

"We passed in front of the house where I was born, where my parents and relatives live, and we rode through places where I usually train.

"To win here, in front of my fans, is really satisfying, and only makes this day more perfect.

"The rest period after the Tour de France did me well," he added.

This was a much needed boost in confidence for the Belgian after a hard fought battle with Tour de France organizers to gain entry in this year's race. And while Boonen managed to secure a last minute victory in court to take part, his performances on the roads in France were dismal.

"My physical conditioning is getting better and better. In France I wasn’t in the best of shape, the Tour is a challenging race and you have to be in top form to give it your best. However, now I feel like I’m back in fighting form and I can compete in a good season ending."

Thanks to his win, Boonen has moved into second place on the general classification.

22 August 2009 - Hasselt (Belgium) to Libramont (Belgium), km

Tomorrow's 221.2 kilometer third stage is the longest in this edition of the Eneco Tour. The course contains more climbing than previous days, and with it's uphill finish to cap it off, the sprinters and their teams will have their work cut out for them.

Cyclist Team Time
1. Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick Step 3h 43' 19"
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream s.t.
3. Francesco Chicchi (ITA) Liquigas s.t.
4. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne s.t.
5. Alexei Markov (RUS) Team Katusha s.t.
6. Matthew Goss (AUS) Team Saxo Bank s.t.
7. Mark Renshaw (AUS) Team Columbia-HTC s.t.
8. Baden Cooke (AUS) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team s.t.
9. Robert Wagner (GER) Skil-Shimano s.t.
10. Alexandre Usov (BLR) Cofidis s.t.

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