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Boonen to undergo operation post World's

He makes it look so easy, but winning doesn't come without pain for Tom Boonen. The 24 year-old Quick.Step rider won the first stage of the Tour of Belgium yesterday, his first race back after a well-deserved break, and starts today's stage in the black leader's jersey.

"To ride in your own country is always fun; to win even more," Boonen told Het Nieuwsblad.

His future goals? The green jersey at the Tour de France, and to become world champion in Madrid.

But after the World's, Boonen will undergo surgery. Team doctor Vanmol says that the man from Balen has been annoyed since the start of the season by a 'small fracture' in his lower stomach. "It's a hole in a muscle," explained Vanmol. "It doesn't really bother him while riding, but he's lucky that it's not in the scar [tissue] of his operation from last year. That could have jeopardised the rest of the season."

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