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by Mark Zalewski
January 6, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Katrin Garfoot delivers emphatic win to defend women’s Australian time trial title; Rohan Dennis wins his second consecutive Australian time trial title; British Cycling warned about relationship with Team Sky; Madiot backs Lappartient for UCI president; ASO buys German race organiser; Eddy Merckx: ‘Tour of Oman will be ridden’; Boonen begins season at Vuelta a San Juan; Former WADA head calls Russian doping scandal worse than Lance Armstrong; Team Sunweb unveils new kit; Meet 105-year-old hour record holder Robert Marchand; Retro Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Tom Boonen will begin his final season as a professional in South America at the Vuelta a San Juan, his team announced. The announcement comes after the Tour of Qatar, Boonen’s original plan, was suddenly cancelled last month.
Roadside ‘goodbye Tom Boonen’ actions have already started.
“I’ve started the season several times in Argentina, but last year I couldn’t be there unfortunately due to the crash in Abu Dhabi,” said Boonen. “In my opinion, Argentina is one of the best places to kick off the season thanks to the great temperatures, good roads, and spectators who always give you a warm welcome. And also the parcours is something I like, because is well-balanced. That’s why I’m really looking forward to race San Juan.”
While the race may be suited for him, the goal is preparation for Paris-Roubaix, the final race of his career.
“I will try to get a victory but I don’t want to take many risks due to my big goal in April and because we have a great sprinter like Fernando Gaviria in the team who is in charge to take the final sprint.”
“We can’t wait to go to Vuelta a San Juan and discover this part of Argentina,” said sport director Davide Bramati. “We’ve always felt at home in this country and we hope to enjoy other beautiful moments there. Our team is a strong one and we make no secret of the fact that we want to win at least one stage with Fernando.”