Tom Boonen pleased with Vuelta form despite extreme saddle pain
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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tom Boonen pleased with Vuelta form despite extreme saddle pain

by Ben Atkins at 4:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Quick Step sprinter building well towards Copenhagen World championships but first week heat has caused him problems

tom boonenTom Boonen (Quick Step) was able to contest his first sprint of this Vuelta a España on stage twelve between Ponteareas and Pontevedra. The 30-year-old Belgian is at the race, like many others, in order to build his form towards an attempt to regain the rainbow jersey at the World championships on September 25th.

He managed to take sixth place on the stage, which has given him confidence over his progress, but his Vuelta so far has not been without its problems.

"The stage finish took everyone a bit by surprise,” said the Belgian afterwards. “The last kilometre was almost entirely on a slight uphill and there was a curve at 500 metres from the finish line which didn’t let anyone gain position, I couldn’t get ahead.

“Basically the position you were in as you came out of the curve stayed more or less the same until the finish,” he explained. “It was an unusual final sprint, but I’m happy anyway; I felt good. In the next stages I’m going to try to polish the work I’ve done as I look forward to the World Championship and give a hand to the team when they need me.”

While his form might be shaping up nicely though, the hot weather of the first week has caused Boonen some problems with saddle sores, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

"My condition is not the problem,” he said. “My legs feel good, but from the friction of the pants with the saddle I’ve been suffereing for a while with an injury to my scrotum. The extreme heat and excessive sweating has irritated that area a lot. There is a hole.

“It is not the first time that I’ve suffered in this place,” he explained, “but it's never been as bad as it is now."

Monday’s stage was especially bad for Boonen’s condition, since it was a time trial, where he had to ride the entire course alone.

“I could have abandoned,” he said. “It hurt so much that I rode the entire 47km course ‘a danceuse’ [out of the saddle – ed]. I stood on my pedals all day because I couldn’t stand the pain.

To deal with the pain Boonen has fashioned his own rudimentary dressing for his sensitive area.
"I got some ‘second skin’, and glued it to a kind of diaper,” Boonen grinned. "The perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus is simply the most delicate part of the body."

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