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Cavendish to replace Boonen in Tour de San Luis

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All smiles for Tom Boonen as he takes his third win at Gent-Wevelgem.

All smiles for Tom Boonen as he takes his third win at Gent-Wevelgem. (Image credit: AFP)
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Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was a pre-race favorite at the Grand Prix de Wallonie.

Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was a pre-race favorite at the Grand Prix de Wallonie. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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World champion Mark Cavendish won for the fourth straight year at the Tour de France's final stage in Paris.

World champion Mark Cavendish won for the fourth straight year at the Tour de France's final stage in Paris. (Image credit: AFP)

Although Tom Boonen has recovered from a severe intestinal infection earlier in December, he will not take part in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina on January 21 as previously scheduled. According to Nieuwsblad.be he will be replaced by his new teammate Mark Cavendish.

Boonen made his start to a highly successful 2012 season in the Tour de San Luis, showing his form early with a second place in stage 2 and then capping off his trip with a win on the final stage. He then went on to win two stages and the overall classification in the Tour of Qatar and then claim a historic Tour of Flanders - Paris-Roubaix double.

Boonen fell ill in late November and was hospitalized for three days due to an infection, missing his Omega Pharma-Quickstep team building activity in Slovakia. He rejoined the squad for its training camp in Spain in mid-December, but the team decided that the time missed due to illness meant he would start his season later. He will instead head to Calpe, Spain for more training on January 2.

Cavendish and Boonen will team up for the first time in February, at the Tour of Qatar.