Second injury diagnosed for Boonen, world championships likely to be new season goal

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Already pronounced as having a dislocated left acromioclavicular (AC) joint due to his crash on Monday’s stage one of Paris-Nice, Tom Boonen has received further bad news.

Yvan van Mol, the Etixx-Quickstep doctor, has told FranceTV that the Belgian rider also has a fractured elbow. Boonen was already facing a recovery period of three to six weeks, and this is a further complication for him.

“I’m really disappointed, for the third time in a row something unfortunate happened that affected the Classics,” Boonen said. “Every time because of different circumstances. It was a stupid crash with big consequences at Paris-Nice yesterday. We were with four teammates in the back and had just brought our jackets to the car, and as others in the peloton were doing, we took a nature break for the last time before heading back to the front.

“That was the plan for us. The stage was very easy, long roads, and nobody was nervous. But all of a sudden there was a hold up. I had to do a brake manoeuvre, but while breaking you cannot steer your wheel as you normally do. I touched my teammates Nikolas Maes’s wheel and crashed.

“In two seconds I realized that my Classics season was over. I imagined it differently and I was ready for the classics. But I can’t change what happened and it is something I need to accept.”

Van Mol stated Monday that there was no question of him being able to ride the big one day races in the spring, his main goal.

“An AC-joint dislocation, as we’ve already seen with other riders of the team with the same kind of injury, requires an extended time of recovery due to the nature of the injury,” he explained then. “Unfortunately, because of the injury and the time it takes to recover, Boonen will not be able to participate in the Northern Classics.”

He noted then that Boonen would undergo further examinations on Tuesday; these have now been done, and the further injury identified.

The Belgian is due to have an operation on his shoulder on Wednesday.

Van Mol told France TV Tuesday that Boonen was very motivated for the world championships. He won the rainbow jersey in 2005 and has long stated he’s love another rainbow jersey before the end of his career.

Providing he can get back into form, the worlds course in Richmond could suit his characteristics well.

Meanwhile his directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters has dismissed any fears that his shoulder injury might be game over for the rider.

“It’s not the end of his career, absolutely not,” he said, according to Belga.

“Champions like Tom are hard to the core, otherwise they are not champions. He will return to his best. I am sure he will not stop his career this way.

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