La Vuelta a España Stage 17: Bunch Arrival in A Coruña, Boonen Won't Start Tomorrow
OPQS rider Tom Boonen was the top finisher for the team in a stage that came down to a group sprint after two riders of the original breakaway were caught inside the final kilometer.
John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) won the stage, with Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) 2nd, and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was 3rd.
OPQS chased on the front in hopes of contesting the final flat stage of La Vuelta. Boonen placed 62nd in a group 22" back.
The team looks next to a medium mountain, 157km Stage 18 on Thursday. There is a Category 2 summit just before the line, but there is a brief descent going into the finish.
Rigoberto Uran did not start the stage due to illness. The report is here.
Tom Boonen will not start Stage 18 tomorrow.
"Today it was again another hard stage," Boonen said. "Unfortunately I couldn't be there to contest the sprint. I was in good position, but there was a cobblestone section in the final kilometers. In that section there was a small space in the road where there were no cobblestones. Everybody rode in that part of the road. I was following Cancellara and Stuyven, and Bodnar was with them. I don't know what happened exactly, I think he had a mechanical. So he moved to the left, which meant I had to brake. I lost immediately 100 meters and I struggled to come back as it was such a high pace in the final. So, my sprint was over before the finish line. It's a pity because it's a missed opportunity, but in any case I am happy about what I did at La Vuelta. Everything went as planned. I raced eight days at Eneco Tour and then I did La Vuelta up until today, so that's 25 days of competition out of 31 days. It was a hard grand tour, but now it is time to recover. I will keep my body moving in these next days, but without intensity. My condition is very good at the moment. I tried to contest a few stages at La Vuelta. I was also in two breakaways, I worked for Uran and I even passed mountains without problems. A guy with my kind of build needs a little bit more time than climbers to recover from these kinds of efforts. After the stop of Uran, to me, it's better to focus on recovery and then be ready to play a role at Worlds starting with the team time trial. I can't wait to be a part of this race again. I had great memories of the victory we had in 2012. It was an incredible feeling when you compare it with an individual victory. I'm happy to be part of it again and give my contribution to this team ,and try to add to the total of the the OPQS TTT gold medals following the win of the guys last year."