Tom Boonen will test his injured knee at the Three Days of De Panne, team Omega Pharma-QuickStep has announced. The former world champion injured his right knee in a crash during Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem.
Boonen crashed with about 70 kilometres left in that race. He was on the bike path on the pavement, when another rider jumped on to the bike path and caught his wheel. Boonen tried to continue riding but soon abandoned.
“The Belgian champion trained on the hometrainer this morning and assuaged any doubts as to whether or not he would participate in the race,” the team said in a press release.
“The knee is still slightly swollen and it hurts, but I really have to work on my racing rhythm this week as well, prior to the Ronde," said Boonen. "We'll take it day by day and see how I feel.”
Boonen was not originally scheduled to race the Three Days of De Panne, but wanted to add it to gain more racing kilometers before the Tour of Flanders this coming Sunday.
The team will be looking to Mark Cavendish to win sprints in the race. The Briton has won four stages there, two each in 2008 and 2009. He has not ridden the race since then.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep will also be sending Sylvain Chavanel, Iljo Keisse, Nikolas Maes, Gert Steegmans, Niki Terpstra and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.