Tom Boonen didn't win anything at the Tour of Belgium, finishing second and third in two mass sprints, but he considered his performance in his homeland race a total success. Not only did Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Tony Martin take the overall victory, Boonen now at least feels that he is again healthy and on the way back to top form.
"I look back with satisfaction on my Tour of Belgium," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "It was a good week. Although I have only now the feeling that the antibiotics that I got for the bacteria in my elbow are out of my body. "
He suffered a severe bacterial infection in his left elbow in January, and was in hospital several days. After finally returning to racing, he crashed early in the Tour of Flanders, suffering various injuries, including a broken rib. The Tour of Belgium was only his second race back.
Boonen was impressed with Luis Leon Sanchez' performance in the final stage of the race, saying “he was incredibly strong. We got up to within ten seconds of him, but then he got away again.”
However, he criticized the lack of race radios in the race. “You really know nothing without the earphones,” he said. “We did not know when Sanchez first got away. We only heard it when he had a minute. It was a disaster.”
From here, Boonen will ride in the Heistse Pijl on Saturday, before defending his national road title in La Roche. Boonen has already said that he will not ride the Tour de France this year, and perhaps never again.
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