Boonen wins at home By:Sue GeorgePublished: August 21, 20:38, Updated: August 21, 20:41Race:Eneco Tour, Stage 3
First victory for the Belgian since national championship
Quick Step's Tom Boonen won the 158.3km stage three of the Eneco Tour from Niel to Hasselt on Friday. The Belgian was racing on his home roads, on which he outsprinted runner-up Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) and Francesco Chi.cchi (Team Liquigas).
"This is my first victory wearing the Belgian National Champion's jersey since I won it earlier this year," said a happy Boonen. "I was looking forward to this stage, and it was important to me to do well."
Racing at home was extra motivation for Boonen. "We passed in front of the house where I was born, where my parents and relatives live, and we rode through places where I usually train."
"To win here, in front of my fans, is really satisfying, and only makes this day more perfect. The rest period after the Tour de France did me well. My physical conditioning is getting better and better."
Boonen admitted his form wasn't the best during the Tour de France, a race from which he withdrew in July. "In France I wasn't in the best of shape. The Tour is a challenging race and you have to be in top form to give it your best. However, now I feel like I'm back in fighting form, and I can have a good, competitive end of the season."
Boonen attributes Tour abandon to virus By:Gregor BrownPublished: July 19, 15:19, Updated: July 19, 15:30
Belgian champion and former Tour green jersey quits
Tom Boonen abandoned the Tour de France Sunday morning in Pontarlier due to the effects of a virus. He said it stayed with him since the start of the race, through 14 stages.
"I was a wreck after yesterday's stage and last night I think the virus came out. I am dead sick now," Belgian champion Boonen said this morning.
Boonen arrived at the start of stage 15 with his Quick Step teammates and talked to the press outside the team bus. The stage to Verbier should be one of the decisive stages for the Tour's overall classification.
"I threw up three times on the bus this morning. I have pain in my muscles, in my head and when I stand up I feel dizzy," he said.
"During this Tour I was never bad, but I never felt at my best."
Boonen has six career stage wins at the Tour and the 2007 green sprinter's jersey. The highest he placed this year was 16th in stage 11 to Saint-Fargeau.
"You have to be 100% prepared for the Tour," said team director, Wilfried Peeters. "Even with someone who is in perfect order it is difficult to perform for three weeks, but Tom did not have the physical or mental preparations."
Boonen tested positive for cocaine April 27 and the Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) prohibited him from starting its race. A French court ordered the race to allow his participation only one day before the start in Monaco.
News flash: Tom Boonen out of Tour de France By:Richard TylerPublished: July 19, 10:34, Updated: July 19, 11:45Race:Tour de France
Belgian champion will not start stage 15
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has abandoned the Tour de France and will not start stage 15 in Pontarlier on Sunday.
The Belgian champion withdrew from the race on Sunday morning after suffering from digestional issues overnight.
"He [Tom Boonen] was up all night with diarrhoea, so there is no point in him starting today," Quick Step team director, Patrick Lefevere, told Cyclingnews on Sunday. "He has been vomiting and he could not eat last night."
The former World champion was only allowed entry into this year's Tour de France a day before the start in Monaco. The French Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a ban on Boonen starting by race organisers due to a positive test for cocaine.
Boonen has had a torrid time at the Tour. A former winner of the green jersey and six Tour stages, Boonen's highest placing at this year's race was 16th on stage 11 in Saint-Fargeau.
Boonen can start in the Tour By:Susan WestemeyerPublished: July 3, 12:41, Updated: July 3, 11:54Race:Tour de France
CAS says Belgian champion can race
Tom Boonen can start in the Tour de France tomorrow, the Court of Arbitration for Sport of the French Olympic Committee has ruled.
It overturned the decision of the ASO, the Tour organiser, to exclude the Team Quick Step sprinter because of his positive out-of-competition tests for cocaine. The court's decision cannot be appealed.
Boonen missing from Quick Step Tour presentation By:CyclingnewsPublished: July 2, 18:07, Updated: July 3, 02:38
Decision expected on appeal tomorrow
When the Quick Step team stepped onto the stage for the Tour de France team presentation in Monaco on Thursday, there was no Tom Boonen among its ranks. Instead, Australian Allan Davis joined the eight others from the Belgian team for the ceremony.
Boonen took his case to the Court of Arbitration of the French Olympic Committee on Thursday to fight an exclusion from the race by organiser ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation). A decision is expected mid-day Friday, according to Sporza.be.
The race organisers said the Belgian champion was not welcome at the race because his behaviour did not fit with the image of the event. Boonen tested positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition doping control in April.
The drug is not banned out of competition, but it was the second year in a row that the Quick Step rider has been uninvited from the Tour because of a cocaine positive. He sat out last year's event.
Earlier this week a Superior Court judge ruled that his court was not competent to rule on the situation.