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No Tour de France for Boonen in 2013, perhaps ever

Cycling News
May 22, 2013, 05:20,
May 22, 2013, 06:21
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tour de France
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)

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Lefevere wanted Belgian to be on the start in Corsica

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) has ruled out riding the 100th Tour de France this July, despite the wishes of team boss Patrick Lefevere.

A report by news agency Belga says that Lefevere left the decision to race in Boonen's hands but the former points classification winner is doubtful over whether he will ever return to the Grand Boucle.

"The chances of that happening are very low," he said with six Tours de France under his belt and six stage wins. "Maybe I will never return."

It's been a frustrating 2013 for Boonen who crashed out of the Tour of Flanders after hitting a road sign. His off-season was punctuated by intestinal problems and then a severely infected elbow.

"I do not want to force it," said Lefevere. "A rider who fears the event that lasts three weeks, [I] do not force him to change his mind.

"I confess I would have preferred to see him at the start in Corsica. For advertising it would have been a serious bonus. It will be otherwise."

Instead of the Tour de France, Boonen will instead race the Tour de Wallonie (July 20-24) and the Tour of Poland (July 27 - August 3).

When Omega Pharma - Quick-Step unveiled their 2013 roster at the Gent velodrome in January, Boonen raised the possibility of a return to the Tour de France, having not raced since 2011, and playing a role in the lead-out for Mark Cavendish. Those thoughts now have been put by the wayside for now, perhaps in the wake of the Manx Missile's success at the Giro d'Italia with four stage wins to his name so far.

"Would I have been the perfect teammate Mark Cavendish? I think it would be crazy to put me in his lead-out," suggested Boonen. "His men must continue to work together."


maxmartin More than 1 year ago
smart choice, I don't think he will be glad to be just another worker in Cav train
Stretch1 More than 1 year ago
He could of been a useful team mate to Cav, Attacking the classic/hardmen stages that Sagan will look to win
shapiro More than 1 year ago
What a shame - he will be missed!
Broth3r More than 1 year ago
The best choice. A rider of his caliber should not be subjected to the humiliation that would be bending over the one-trick pony that is Cav.
sir_velo More than 1 year ago
Shouldn't that be 101 trick pony?
phil0217 More than 1 year ago
Well said Sir Velo
Uncle_Tod More than 1 year ago
Make that 102.
Robert Hightower Jr. More than 1 year ago
Boonen: wonderful classic racer. stay with what is best. no need to ruin rest of career with a ride in the greatest side show on earth TdF.
Shankar Radhakrishnan More than 1 year ago
Can someone explain what Boonen really means in the last line. Is he saying that he is not there to lead Mark C even if he participates?
wood24 More than 1 year ago
I think there was something lost in the translation. I am pretty sure what he meant was ... the quickstep team is doing a really good job leading out Cavendish in the Giro so it wouldn't make sense to throw Boonen into the mix arbitrarily. Despite his pedigree and talent, there's no reason to fix something that isn't broken and a good leadout train is as much about coordination and rhythm as strength and talent.