Tom Boonen is preparing to return to racing but Etixx-QuickStep is playing down expectations surrounding the rider as he comes back from injury. The Belgian is set to return to racing at the Tour of Turkey and will race the Giro d'Italia next month, a race he has never taken part in.
Boonen, 34, suffered a serious shoulder injury in Paris-Nice last month, forcing him to miss the Spring Classics.
"It's all right with Tom. He is ready,” sports director Wilfried Peeters told sporza.be. “His arm feels good but after a few hours his shoulder of course is painful. But that's normal after the operation."
“In Turkey, you should not expect immediate stage victories from Tom, because we are also taking Cavendish. He (Boonen) has to make sure he has a good condition for the Giro."
Boonen will be the road captain in Italy, as will ride as “the right man to guide” Rigoberto Uran to the podium. In the sprints, perhaps he can try something, “but he knows that we are not taking a team that can 100 per cent prepare the sprint.”
The Belgian national championships will be his next objective, and he will ride both the time trial (June 26) and the road race (June 28). He will skip the Tour de France and “then work towards the World Championships.”