Tom Boonen made it clear from early in the year, after dominating the spring classics that he dreamt of another rainbow jersey and also the prospect of adding an Olympic gold medal to his already extensive palmares. To do this he would skip the Giro d’Italia as he needed to rest at the end of a demanding spring campaign and he suggested the Tour de France would not be suitable for a rider like himself.
Instead of riding the Tour he will start the Tour of Poland as part of his Olympic preparation. The seven-stage,1,234.7km race offers Boonen a greater build-up to one of his biggest objectives this season and finishes almost a week before the Tour. These additional six days may prove critical to Boonen’s chance at Olympic glory. The short time frame between the Tour and the Olympics has already been discussed at length and Boonen has opted for the safer option. He will no doubt arrive at the Olympics with the best condition possible to contest the finish.
Once the hype of the Olympic Games has diminished most of the professional circuit will turn their attention to the final grand tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana, and the world championships. However, Boonen will likely skip the Spanish three-week race in favour of a number of other tours.
"Tom has put his mind to the world championships in Limburg, also the world championships team time trial, and a preparation using smaller and shorter races is better than using a difficult Vuelta," said team director Wilfried Peeters on nieuwsblad.be.