Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will make his return to racing on Wednesday at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. The Belgian Classics specialist missed last weekend’s Milan-San Remo for personal reasons but his team believes that Wednesday’s race will be an ideal test for the rider ahead of the main objectives this spring.
"It will be the first race for Tom after Paris-Nice," sports director Wilfried Peeters said according to Sporza. "It will be a good test to see how far the state of his condition at this time is."
"But it's about more than just Tom Boonen in our selection. We bring a strong squad to the start."
Omega Pharma-QuickStep have won Doors Door Vlaanderen twice in the last few years with Kevin Van Impe winning in 2009 and Niki Terpstra soloing clear in 2012. The year’s edition will be Boonen’s first race since Paris-Nice, where he picked up two top-ten placings. He has already tasted victory this season with a win in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last month.
Terpstra is also set to start the race on Wednesday along with Andrew Fenn, Iljo Keisse, Gert Steegmans, Stijn Vandenbergh, Nikolas Maes, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Stijn Vandenbergh. Boonen is a previous winner of the event, having won in 2007 and finishing third in 2009.
"The weather is good and we look forward to this tough event,” added Peeters.
“This opens up the cobbled classics in Belgium again and it is an important preparation for the upcoming races."