Boonen training hard in advance of new season
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Boonen training hard in advance of new season

by Conal Andrews at 5:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

Former world champion Tom Boonen had a hit and miss 2009 season, winning Paris-Roubaix but facing another positive test for cocaine and having a totally forgettable Tour de France campaign. He’s determined to have a better 2010, and has said that he has been working hard.

“You would think that after the season is quiet, but that does not apply to me in recent weeks,” he stated in the diary on his personal website. “I’ve been in full training for a while, especially in the field [off-road]. The weather doesn’t normally allow you to go very far on the road.”

Boonen traditionally gets his season underway at the Tour of Qatar and plans to do the same this year. As a Classic specialist, it is important for him to be able to hit form far sooner than the riders who are focusing on the Grand Tours, and so he will have to have been working harder in the off-season than many other professionals.

He has a very strong record in Qatar, having won fifteen stages and netting his third overall win last year.

The 29-year-old has already raced this winter, lining out in the charity cyclo-cross race held earlier this month in Mol. He didn’t take it too seriously, and thoroughly enjoyed the contest.

“I was incredibly pleased with the turnout. It was a fantastic day,” he said. “I thank everyone who came to support us and who did their bit.”

The Belgian will remain with the Quick Step team in 2010, marking his eighth season in the pro ranks. He will once again be the biggest rider. The team had been chasing the signature of Alberto Contador, but the Spaniard ultimately stayed with the Astana squad. This ensures that the burden of expectation remains with Boonen, who knows that he needs to take some big races in the months ahead.


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