The Natour Broker Criterium in Diksmuide, Belgium on July 25 is claiming an unusual double for its second edition: two world champions on the start line. As well as main drawcard Tom Boonen, the race will feature guest rider Laurent Thirionet; the Frenchman is the world and Paralympic champion among one-legged riders.
Thirionet, who is sponsored by Cofidis, usually specialises in the pursuit, and Diksmuide will be his first criterium. He had intended to ride a criterium in Calais a few weeks ago, but withdrew because of injury. He hopes to stay with the professionals for at least the first 20 laps or so (30km), even though many of them will have spent the previous three weeks riding the Tour de France.