Boonen confident despite defeat

Belgian serene for immediate future, Spring Classics and Tour

Even though Tom Boonen was beaten in yesterday's Tour of Oman stage four by 20 year-old Australian Leigh Howard (HTC-Columbia), the Belgian feels confident about his season build-up. Having won two stages in the Tour of Qatar, Boonen assured the media that his form as well as his weight was where it needs to be for his further objectives.

"I think that I am already stronger than last year," he told La Dernière Heure. "I was very cautious this winter and I'm already five kilos lighter than in 2009."

Boonen hopes to take advantage of this in the coming weeks in his home country, where his main objectives for the first part of the season lie. Moreover, this year, he will not be haunted by jetlag coming back from the Tour of California, once the Belgian Spring Classics start with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (formerly Het Volk).

"That's one of the reasons why I've never won this race - the only Flandrian event missing on my palmarès," he explained.

After the Classics, Boonen will do specific time trial training in order to win the prologue of this year's Tour de France in Rotterdam. "The idea is to enter Belgium wearing yellow in July 4," he smiled.

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