Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has not allowed a broken rib to hamper his ambitions to win the Olympic road race on Saturday and he’s made sure his condition is prime by working hard at the current Tour de Wallonie - which finishes on Wednesday. Boonen won’t be there to contest the final day as he and Belgian teammate Greg van Avermaet (BMC) leave for London following the completion of Monday’s ‘Ardennes-like’ stage.
"With my crash in the Tour of Poland and my broken rib, I have not had the ideal preparation for the Olympics, so I must work and make efforts during the race. I feel safer in the lead, it's better to prevent falls. In addition, with three or four kilometers to go, I prefer to get up and finish behind. It's better for my injury," said Boonen to Lavenir.
Omega Pharma-Quickstep are yet to capture a stage win without their star sprinter but his focus is on ensuring he doesn’t fall again before his departure to London on Tuesday. The Belgian champion will be the leader for the race in London and according to his national coach, he’ll be ready come Saturday.
"It looks good, it's a good sign and reassuring, because with his fall it was not ideal, but Tom looks ok," said Carlo Bomans.
Boonen has not fully recovered from his injuries but apart from sitting out the sprint finishes, he said that the broken ribs do not effect him too much. It's a promising sign as he'll no doubt have to sprint in the Olympic race if he's to contend for a medal.
"I do not suffer too much on the bike. Actually, I have more pain when I'm not on the bike, like when I'm in bed," said Boonen to dnnet.
Boonen and van Avermaet will travel together and with everything going to plan during Monday’s stage, he’ll be one of the favourites to line up on Saturday.
"I think I am in time for next Saturday, especially since I have several days of recovery in order to have maximum coolness on D-Day," said Boonen.