The 70th post-Tour de France criterium in Aalst on Monday, July 25, will have to do without Belgium's biggest rider Tom Boonen (Quick.Step). The sprinter, who won the final stage on the Champs Elysées last year, and the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix this year, is asking for €22,000 start money, according to Sportwereld.be.
"And Boonen isn't even Belgian champion and doesn't have the green jersey yet," said one of the organisers, Johnny Van Den Borre. "Then it would be €25,000. That's far too much money for a start in a criterium that is always free to watch. If a specific sponsor will cover it, then fine."
On the other hand, Boonen will ride the inaugural Broker criterium in Diksmuide on July 26, two days after the Tour.