Road

Boonen to race in Tour of Poland

PARIS (AFP) - Quick Step's Tom Boonen, who dropped out of the Tour de France on the seventh stage after an earlier crash, is to return to the road in the Tour of Poland, his team announced on Monday.

2011 Tour de France stage 5
A shaken Tom Boonen finishes next to last after his stage 5 crash. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

The 2005 world road race champion was one of five Quick Step riders to hit the deck in the fifth-stage run to Cap Frehel as strong winds and narrow roads took their toll, leaving him with scrapes all down his right side.

He retired two days later.

However, the 30-year-old received the green light for the Tour of Poland from the team’s medical staff after performing a few workouts last weekend.

“I’m happy I can get back to training and I’m relieved that the fall didn’t have any major repercussions,” said Boonen.

“The withdrawal from the Tour forced us to re-examine our schedule for the rest of the season. We’ve decided I will make my comeback in the Tour of Poland on Sunday, July 31.

“This race was my first race as a trainee in a professional team in 2000.

“I have a lot of good memories about that race. It was the first time ever I rode more than 200 kilometers.

“I didn’t ride the last two stages because I was tired as never in my life. I was only 19 years old. It will be nice to come back there.”

After the Tour of Poland, Boonen will then head to London to race on August 14 on the same circuit that will host the Olympic races next year.

“I’ll be wearing the national jersey when I ride the race,” said Boonen.

“The federation is granting me a great opportunity to race on an Olympic circuit. I’m very pleased. I’m sure it will be an important test event.”

After London, Boonen is then slated to take part in the Tour of Spain, which begins with a team time trial in Benidorm on August 20.