Boonen has a cold

Tom Boonen got through the first stage of the Driedaagse van De Panne without incident, preferring...

Tom Boonen got through the first stage of the Driedaagse van De Panne without incident, preferring not to get near to the front of the bunch in the sprint for ninth place. He also looked strong on the climbs, appearing to be trying to discourage a chase of the break in front, which had his teammate Filippo Pozzato in it.

Despite a strong impression, Quick.Step's team director Rik Van Slijcke told Sportwereld that Tom had been "awake all night coughing. A cold." Boonen didn't mention this, saying merely that "to get to Zottegem without a scratch was hard work. After the rain, the roads were dangerously slick. That's why I chose, dependent on the risk, to ride in front or completely at the back. The feeling in the legs is the same and that is promising now with the Ronde so close."

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