Tom Boonen has been struggling in the Vuelta a Espana, and has finally disclosed the rather embarrassing physical problem which has been hindering him. He has an open wound under a delicate area which is very painful and makes it difficult for him to ride. "It does hurt quite a lot," he told Het Nieuwsblad.
The heat is to blame for the problem. “Because of the friction of the pants with the saddle, I suffer from an injury to the scrotum. The extreme heat and excessive sweating caused a heavy irritation in that area. There is a hole. It is not the first time that I have suffered in this place, but never as bad as now. "
The Quickstep rider consider abandoning during Monday's time trial. “I stood on my pedals all day because I could not take the pain.” Boonen finished last in the time trial, 10.49 behind winner Tony Martin.
The injury is “a bit better now, Boonen said, and explained what he has done. “I got a 'second skin', and glued it at times to a kind of diaper. The perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, is simply the most delicate part of the body."
Team doctor Toon Cruyt thought the situation was finally under control. “The extreme heat caused the perineum to start to tear five days ago. The rest day came just in time, so that his injury had two more days – including the time trial – to heal.”