Boonen says no to Tour de France

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iol spt feb9 Cycling_generic INDEPENDENT MEDIA There was stress and no small measure of relief on the face of the organisers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour as they announced a revised route and reduced distance for the race because of the fires that have devastated the peninsula.

Paris - Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen has confirmed he will not compete in next month's Tour de France, several Belgian newspapers reported on Monday.

The former world road race champion, who is currently taking part in the Tour of Switzerland, is said to have other priorities for his year. He last competed in the Tour de France in 2011.

“My team does not need me for the tour,” Boonen said, referring to his Omega Pharma team who already have top sprinters Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin on their books for the race which starts in Leeds on July 5.

“It's not that I have no desire to take part in the tour, it's just that if I did that I could say goodbye to the rest of the season,” he added.

The 33-year-old Boonen has five wins under his belt already this season - two stages in the Tour of Qatar, two stages in the Tour of Belgium and in the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race.

His last stage win in the Tour de France was in 2007.


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