Boonen hunting 17th stage win in Tour of Qatar

Quick Step sprinter wants to see where he stands after knee surgery

Tom Boonen will be looking for his 17th stage win in the Tour of Qatar, which starts Sunday. The Quick Step sprinter has won at least one stage every year since 2004, and taken the overall title three times.

“I can't imagine that I will soon go away without a stage win in my luggage,” he told “That kind of good habit should be cherished.”

Boonen missed several months last season due to knee problems which ultimately ended in surgery. He had only four wins in the season, with one of them of course being in Qatar. After the surgery in July, he returned for a few races the end of the season.

That gives him another incentive to do well in his first race of the 2011 season. “I want to know where I stand. I have worked hard after my injury last season. I trained well, the tests are good. The race should do the rest to reassure me.”

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