Boonen will miss Milano-Sanremo

Belgian former world champion will not contest the season's first major classic after partner suffers a miscarriage

Tom Boonen will miss the start at Milano-Sanremo Sunday after his partner Lore suffered a miscarriage.

“In such a sensitive moment Tom prefers to stay by his partner’s side,” the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team said in a press release. “All the athletes, staff, and sponsors of the team want Lore and Tom to know that they support them at this difficult time, and they hope the couple will find the strength to get through this trying experience.”

Boonen was second in the 2010 edition of Milano-Sanremo and also finished third in 2007 and fourth in 2006. The season’s first major classic takes place March 23.