Boonen fighting to overcome injury ahead of national championships

The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team said today that Tom Boonen will skip the Halle-Ingooigem tomorrow in order to focus on training for the Belgian national road championships on Sunday.

The two-time champion injured his hip in a crash prior to the Tour de Suisse, and while he raced through six stages, a less than ideal position on the bike caused pain in his knee. He returned to Belgium after leaving the race and had a hematoma drained from his hip.

"Tom Boonen, after abandoning the Tour de Suisse, was unable to train for two days," the team press release stated. "The evolution of his injury that was suffered prior to the Tour de Suisse is good, but the injury is still not at 100 percent. In agreement with the team, Boonen decided to focus on training prior to the Belgian National Road Championship and he will not take the start at Halle-Ingooigem."

The team will be represented in the UCI 1.1 race by Thomas De Gendt, Kevin De Weert, Iljo Keisse, Nikolas Maes, Gianni Meersman, Serge Pauwels, Pierter Serry and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck - all riders who, like Boonen, were not part of the team's Tour de France selection.

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