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"It will be the first race for Tom after Paris-Nice. It will be a good test to see how far the state of his condition at this time is," sports director Wilfried Peeters said according to Sporza.

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele

ANDREW FENN

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DWARS DOOR VLAANDEREN

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GERT STEEGMANS

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GUILLAUME VAN KEIRSBULCK

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ILJO KEISSE

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NIKI TERPSTRA

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NIKOLAS MAES

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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STIJN VANDENBERGH

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25.03.2014 @ 10:15 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Just as it was expected, in-form Tom Boonen will return to competition in the Dwars door Vlaanderen tomorrow after the Belgian classics specialist decided to withdraw from Milano-Sanremo due to personal causes. The information was ultimately confirmed by Omega Pharma-Quick Step sports director Wilfried Peeters as the team believes the event would serve as an ideal test prior to season’s main objectives.

 

Intially Milano-Sanremo was set to be Boonen’s first big objective of the 2014 season after the Pompeiana climb was removed from its route, and with the current knowledge of how the race has panned out it certainly is a big shame that the Belgian couldn’t make it to the start of the race in Lombardy’s capital city. With his ability to prevail in the bad weather and a powerful finish after many kilometers of hard racing, Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was a favorite to take the spoils in the season’s first monument won by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), but reportedly he is ready to make his return to racing in the Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday as other big objectives are approaching.

 

"It will be the first race for Tom after Paris-Nice," sports director Wilfried Peeters said according to Sporza.

 

"It will be a good test to see how far the state of his condition at this time is."

 

"But it's about more than just Tom Boonen in our selection. We bring a strong squad to the start."

 

Boonen, who has won the event in 2007 and finished on a podium in 2009 will be backed by a strong Omega Pharma-Quick Step team with another former Dwars door Vlaanderen champion Niki Terpstra presenting a splendid disposition from the beginning of the 2014 season and young Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen runner-up Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.

 

The line up will be completed by Andrew Fenn, Iljo Keisse, Gert Steegmans, Stijn Vandenburgh and Nikolas Maes.

 

"The weather is good and we look forward to this tough event,” added Peeters.

“This opens up the cobbled classics in Belgium again and it is an important preparation for the upcoming races."

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