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Boonen out of Worlds, ends season

Having not fully recovered from a knee injury sustained in the Vuelta, Tom Boonen has withdrawn from the Belgian world championship team and called an end to his 2007 season. The decision was not an easy one for the 2005 world champion, who had originally planned to remain at the Vuelta until Thursday in order to arrive in Stuttgart on peak form.

"This was a painful decision," Boonen told Sportwereld. "Unfortunately I cannot complete the training that is necessary for the world championships. I've chosen to offer my place to someone with better chances than I currently have."

"Tom had been 110 per cent fit and wanted to play a meaningful role in the world championships," added Quick.Step - Innergetic manager Patrick Lefevere. "But it's now a week after his fall and he feels not at his best. It was the logical decision to end his season here. Don't forget that Boonen has been racing since January."

Boonen's place on the team will be taken by Liquigas' Frederik Willems.

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