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Boonen's Worlds hope fading

Tom Boonen (Quick Step)

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Tom Boonen hasn't entirely given up hope of competing in the world championships, but realises that “a miracle will be needed to get to the Worlds.” The Quick Step rider broke the scaphoid in his left hand in a crash during the fifteenth stage of the Vuelta a España.

The former world champion is scheduled to undergo further medical tests on his hand, but “I have no illusions,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “The hospital in Gijon is one of the best hospitals in Spain and if the scan there indicates a break, then I shouldn't expect to hear any better news tomorrow (Tuesday).”

This kind of fracture normally takes six weeks to heal, and the Worlds start in two weeks. “Unless a miracle happens, my season is over.”

Team spokesman Alessandro Tegner tried to see things more optimistically. “We can't say for sure in advance whether Tom Boonen will have to cross out the Worlds. It is still too early for that. Additional studies will reveal whether or not he can start,” he told the Belga news agency. “We hope that everything will be ok."