Boonen delays season start due to Abu Dhabi crash

Gaviria to lead Etixx-QuickStep in Tour de San Luis

Tom Boonen will not start the Tour de San Luis, which is set to begin on January 18 in Argentina, and cited needing more time to recover from his injuries sustained in a crash at the Abu Dhai Tour last October. Boonen confirmed that he will instead start his season with Etixx-QuickStep in the first week of February in Spain.

“This year I will start my season later, at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, thus making a change to my program of the past years, due to my crash in the Abu Dhabi Tour,” Boonen said in a press release. He was initially set to start his season in San Luis but it was reported on January 7 that he would start his season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana held from February 3-7.

Boonen crashed during stage 2 of the Abu Dhai Tour and suffered head trauma. His injuries included a left temporal bone fracture that has caused permanent hearing damage in that ear.

“Because of that, I lost some important training days in November, so together with the team I decided to continue my training this month, in order to be as fit as possible for the start of the season, which will come a little later for me, in February.”

Etixx-QuickStep’s roster at the Tour de San Luis will include Fernando Gaviria, Rodrigo Contreras, Stijn Vandenbergh, Fabio Sabatini, Lukasz Wisniowski and Maximiliano Richeze.

“Etixx – QuickStep sends a nice team to Argentina, with an up-and-rising star Fernando Gaviria, who showed himself at the previous edition, when he won two stages in spectacular fashion”Boonen said. “I’m sure that he and the other riders of the team will do a strong race and will fight to get a stage win in what will be a star-studded event.”

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