Expatica news

Boonen quits Tour as falls take toll

14 July 2005

BRUSSELS — Belgian Tom Boonen quit the Tour de France with an injured knee on Thursday and will return to Brussels tonight.

The green jersey holder and Quick.Step-Innergetic team cyclist bowed out of the Tour prior to the start of the 187km 12th stage from Briancon to Digne les Bains.

Despite winning two stages, Boonen also crashed several times. The latest fall came in Wednesday’s 11th stage to Briancon when he hit a small wall.

The Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner will now undergo medical checks on his knee to determine the extent of the injury.

Having made the Tour de France points classification one of his goals this season, Boonen, 24, was disappointed, but still satisfied by his Tour.

“I have won two stages and the knowledge that I — without bad luck or injuries — can win the green jersey gives me a lot of confidence,” he said.

Boonen had worn the sprinters’ green jersey since winning the second and third stages last week.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news