The 2005 UCI road race world champion is expected to be Belgium’s best hope of a result at the Worlds in Doha next month and his possible participation is reportedly not in doubt after initial tests showed no fractures.
The Classics legend fell after the 50km mark of Thursday’s 202km stage over the cobbles in Belgium, with Etixx team manager Patrick Lefevere confirming that his team were not prepared to let Boonen continue.
“Tom was eating when his wheel hit a pothole and he crashed,” Lefevere said, quoted by Le Soir. “Since my rider felt dazed it was immediately decided to take him to hospital for further tests.”
Le Soir reports that initial tests have shown no fractures, although the Belgian and his team will not want to rush his return to the bike after his big crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour at the tail end of 2015.
Boonen suffered permanent hearing damage in that spill when he hit his head hard on the tarmac. He recovered to win three races this year, including the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, as well as finishing second in a memorable Paris-Roubaix.
Etixx-Quick Step said in a press release: “Fortunately, the cervical X-ray he underwent at the St. Vincentius Hospital in Deinze didn’t reveal any injury, so Tom – winner of three races this season – was cleared by the doctors to go home, where he is to rest until the end of the week, before returning to training.”