Former World Champion Tom Boonen - who has had back problems for four years - is to receive a custom-built from Specialized. On Sunday, the American bike manufacturer said it had given the Belgian a custom-made bike to test, in the hope that his problems will improve.
Monaco-based Boonen has now returned to his home country in preparation for the Spring Classics. "Because the races take place here now, he's staying in the country and will see a back specialist, too," Quick-Step team director 'Fitte' Peeters told Sportwereld. "Tom's back problems started in Gent-Wevelgem four years ago, when he crashed into a photographer. It remains a delicate issue, but we have it under control."