Despite recent suggestions to the contrary, Belgian Tom Boonen (Team Quick Step) said he will not race the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing due to its close proximity on the race calendar to the Tour de France.
"It is not so bad for those trying to win the Tour as they are in good shape at the end, but not for riders like me. Also the course is very difficult, it is not a good course for me. It is just too early after the Tour," Boonen said to Reuters. The Tour is Boonen's number one focus - to him it is a higher priority than the world championships or the Olympics. In particular, Boonen hopes to claim the green jersey again.
The 27 year-old Boonen still has some time left to go to other Olympic Games and he left the door open. "I want to go at least once and yes, I would like to win a gold medal for Belgium."
Boonen's told Reuters his strategy is to win an early season classic to take some of the pressure off for the rest of the year. "I have a better chance of winning when I am relaxed."