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Light health problems for Boonen and Bettini

With La Classicissima Milano-Sanremo only a few days away, Quick-Step stars Tom Boonen and World Champion Paolo Bettini are suffering minor physical setbacks. In Tirreno-Adriatico, Bettini crashed again on Saturday, hurting his left knee. Although nothing is broken, the bruise is painful.

"On Saturday night, I really didn't think I would be able to start again," Il Grillo told L'Equipe. "But I'm hanging on. At this point in the season, I can't allow myself the smallest gap in my preparation. It's hard to pull on the handlebars, and my knee hurts - especially at night - but my legs spin fine..."

As for his teammate Tom Boonen, the Belgian is reported to have flown back to Belgium on Monday after abandoning Paris-Nice before the last stage on Sunday. In his home country, he is to consult with a chiropractor for some back pain the sprinter is suffering from since the team changed bikes this season. Boonen will be back in Monaco on Tuesday for his final preparation leading up to the Italian Classic on Saturday.

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