Tom Boonen: “My recovery is on the right track”
At the press conference prior to the Boonen and Friends Charity Event, the Etixx – Quick-Step rider talked about the race that is scheduled to take place on November 28th and his condition after the injury he suffered in the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Last month, Tom Boonen crashed-out of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour during stage two and was immediately taken to the hospital, where the CT scan showed a left temporal bone fracture. As a result, he had to stay in the Emirates for a couple of days more before returning home, where the doctors ordered him to rest and take things easy. Since then, five weeks have passed and the 35-year-old is making progress and started working to prepare the new season.
This week, Tom Boonen made his first public appearance since sustaining that injury, at the press conference which preceded the Boonen and Friends Charity Cyclocross that takes place for the sixth year now and reunites 50 top road cyclists at the startline, who will ride on a 2 km-long track designed inside of the Park of Zilvermeer, with the aim of backing the Move To Improve and Bijs charities: "This cyclocross is very important for me and I hope many people will come to support the riders and the two charities involved. The people taking care of this event did a fine job and I'm sure we'll have a great time and a fun day. Unfortunately, I can't race, but I'll be there to welcome all my fans", Tom Boonen had to say on Tuesday at the media meeting where he was joined by Etixx – Quick-Step sport directors Tom Steels and Wilfried Peeters.
Despite the fact he'll not ride Saturday's event in Mol, the seven-time Monument winner still had reasons to smile, as the doctors gave him green light to return on his bike and start training: "Things are going well after my crash. When I came back home from Abu Dhabi I was tired and in pain, but day by day I began feeling better and now everything is heading into the right direction. It's a difficult fracture, but it's healing well, even if I can't compare it with any of the other fractures I've had. Still, I'm happy, because a few days ago I have finally returned to training – not very intense ones, around three-hour long – followed by a couple of days of rest, as the doctors recommended me not to rush things. It's really important to listen to my body and do things right before the new season."
Only two weeks are separating Tom Boonen of the team's first training camp ahead of the new season, which will take place in Denia, Spain. There, the Belgian wants to reconnect with his teammates and get back in the mood for racing: "I can't wait for the training camp to be underway. I miss the guys, the staff, that great feeling that I have when I'm with the whole team. Denia will be perfect to outline my schedule and start focusing on 2016."