Intestinal problems have forced Tom Boonen out of Wednesday's Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen in Belgium where the Quick.Step man was hoping to repeat last year's success in front of a hometown crowd. "I had to stop my training because of these problems," said Boonen in a team statement on Tuesday. "Together with the team medical staff we decided to not take risks."
On Monday evening the Belgian was involved in a minor car accident caused by a wandering cat. "I was driving my car in the neighbourhood of Balen. Near a traffic light a cat crossed the road. I avoided the cat but the car finished in the road. I damaged the front part of my car [yellow Lamborghini - ed.] but fortunately the cat is still alive."
The Scheldeprijs is typically Boonen's final event of his first period of racing before taking a break to recuperate for later season objectives. "I cannot take the start but I want to be in Antwerp and Schoten to say hello and thanks to all my supporters and to support my team-mates during the race," he said.
Boonen will follow the race alongside directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters in the team car while Serge Baguet will take his place on the Quick.Step roster.