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Boonen will miss Amstel Gold with tendonitis

Cobbled classics king will skip Ardennes opener with foot pain

Tom Boonen will not make his planned start at Amstel Gold Race Sunday. Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) cited tendonitis in his left foot in withdrawing from the Dutch opener of the Ardennes classics.

“It’s a problem that I have [had] since Paris-Nice,” said Boonen in a team release. “The vibrations on the cobblestones on Sunday have worsened it. Nothing serious but it’s better to stop and rest.”

Boonen, who won E3 Prijs Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, hoped to start Sunday to pay back his Omega Pharma teammates after a record-setting run through the cobbled classics. Instead, he will return to racing after a break.

“I’m sad because I wanted to ride the Amstel in support of my teammates after the great support the team gave me during these three weeks,” said Boonen. “But the season is still very long and after talking with the team we have mutually decided to not take risks for the upcoming races. I’m also still very tired; the Roubaix is always a very demanding race. The team is very strong and prepared. I’m sure the guys will be working hard again this Sunday.”

Boonen will sit out the 2012 Amstel Gold Race. Photo: BrakeThrough Media