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Boonen leads cyclo-cross charity race

Tom Boonen enjoying some off-season fun for a good cause.

Tom Boonen enjoying some off-season fun for a good cause. (Image credit:

Tom Boonen and 42 other pro cyclists will be competing in a charity cyclo-cross race this Saturday in Mol, home of the three-time Paris-Roubaix winner and organiser of the event. Together with his sports director at Quick Step, Wilfried "Fiete" Peeters, Boonen created the cyclo-cross to continue his long-time support of a Belgian charity association that helps children suffering from motricity diseases.

"It's hard to see the enormous difficulties that these children have to endure in day-to-day life," Boonen told the media on Wednesday at the event presentation. "After surgery, rehabilitation takes very long, and the necessary machines are very expensive for the families concerned."

The double World Champion hopes to make the event a yearly fundraiser, and was optimistic looking at the high profiles of the cyclists that responded his call: Alessandro Ballan, Carlos Barredo, Stijn Devolder, Filippo Pozzato, Rinaldo Nocentini to name but a handful of the participating field of road cyclists that have little - or no - experience riding cyclo-cross races.

Boonen himself admitted that he did not think the race was going to be a piece of cake. "Personally, it will be tough, as I have only three weeks of training in my legs until now," he said. "We know the capabilities of all these riders on the road, but for a cross, it's different!"

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