Tom Boonen set to ride both Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne

Tom Boonen Tour of Qatar 2009

Tom Boonen has confirmed that he will be at Belgian?s opening races next weekend just days after getting back from the Tour of Calilfornia.

The former world champion had said after the Tour of Qatar that he would miss both Het Nieuwsblad (formerly Het Volk) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne because of the amount of travelling involved, but today he confirmed to Cycling Weekly that he would be on the start line in Ghent.

?I?m doing them, I don?t know how, but I?m going to do it. I do Het Volk [sic] and Kuurne, Saturday and Sunday. I ride everything,? he said. ?I bought myself my own business [class] ticket, otherwise it wasn?t possible. I paid $2,000 or something, it shows how motivated I am.?

Last year Boonen under-performed in Het Volk, finishing 85th, over six minutes down, following a cold and wet Tour of California and the subsequent travel involved.

After winning the Tour of Qatar he seems to be in good shape, and says that he?s not finished as a bunch sprinter just yet, ?I haven?t sprinted yet this season, I did one sprint in Qatar but it wasn?t really a sprint, we were racing for fourth. The last stage I wasn?t there for the sprint, so I?m looking forward to a real let out at some point.?

Het Nieuwsblad takes place on Saturday, February 28, with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the following day.


Tom Boonen interview in this month's Cycle Sport

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Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.