Boonen battling to be fit for Olympics, Hushovd expected to announce today he won't race in London

Belgian will train on Thursday despite fractured rib, Thor fails to beat virus that has plagued his season

by Simon_MacMichael   July 16, 2012  

London 2012 Olympic Torch (picture credit - LOCOG)

Tom Boonen and Thor Hushovd, who both started the Tour of Poland last week with the aim of honing their form ahead of challenging for gold in the Olympic road race a week on Saturday, are both looking doubtful for London. Boonen, who has a fractured rib, will attempt to train later this week, while Hushovd will reportedly announce his withdrawal from the Olympics this afternoon.

Boonen, who dominated the Spring Classics season including winning the Tour of Flanders for the third time and a fourth victory in Paris-Roubaix was confirmed yesterday by his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team as having fractured a rib.

The injury occurred during a crash on Stage 1 of the race, but Boonen battled on for another four days before abandoning.

The 31-year-old, who last month regained the Belgian national road race championship, will now spend three days resting, after which he will attempt to train on Thursday, with his team’s medical staff then assessing whether he should take part in the Tour de la Region Wallone ahead of the Olympics.

"There's nothing more to do than wait and see how the situation will evolve," admitted Boonen.

"I'm sad because my condition is good and I really don't want to lose the chance to participate in the Olympics. On Thursday I will have the answer that I'm waiting for."

Meanwhile, Norway’s TV2 is reporting today that Hushovd is set to make an announcement this afternoon that he will not be competing in London.

The BMC Racing rider has been struggling throughout the season with a viral infection which forced him out of the Giro d’Italia less than a week into the race, but was clearly well out of form during the Tour of Poland which he abandoned on Saturday.

Hushovd had chosen to take part in that race, rather than the Tour de France, to ensure that he was in peak condition for London.

It is unclear exactly what the former world champion is suffering from, although his coach, Atle Kvålsvoll, yesterday told TV2 that it may be mononucleosis or some similar condition.

Today, TV2 reports that Kvålsvoll had declined to give any further update on Hushod’s condition, but said that the cyclist himself would be issuing a statement this afternoon.
 

9 user comments

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Really disappointed for the mighty Thor. He's had a 'mare since moving to BMC. I think Boonen will be fit enough to ride in London but losing a week of riding at this stage could just blunt his top end speed. Until I heard this he was my favourite for gold.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [566 posts]
16th July 2012 - 8:32

2 Likes

Oh no. Such a shame that we'll miss out on both riders at their best in London.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
16th July 2012 - 9:46

1 Like

Of my three picks for people who could stay away from the bunch in an attempt to beat Cav, only Cancellara remains. Gilbert seems to be coming back in to some form though (based on yesterday's performance) - perhaps he'll have a go.

posted by step-hent [703 posts]
16th July 2012 - 10:49

3 Likes

Is Sagan riding to Olympics? I think the length might do for him (I assume without a great deal of support). Don't rule out someone like Chavanel who can climb and TT to the end. It'll certainly be open.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [566 posts]
16th July 2012 - 11:22

1 Like

"Is Sagan riding to Olympics?"

Yup, gonna stay on his bike after the Champs-Elysees, ride home to Slovakia to wave hello to his family as he passes the house then turn round and head to London, arriving precisely as the flag drops for the road race.

Apparently he thinks it's only fair to give the others a chance Wink

But yeah, he's riding.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8501 posts]
16th July 2012 - 11:44

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
"Is Sagan riding to Olympics?"

Yup, gonna stay on his bike after the Champs-Elysees, ride home to Slovakia to wave hello to his family as he passes the house then turn round and head to London, arriving precisely as the flag drops for the road race.

Apparently he thinks it's only fair to give the others a chance Wink

But yeah, he's riding.

Apparently, he's going to do the ride back to Solvakia on back wheel only - just for fun.

I hadn't really thought about Sagan for the Olympics, mainly because he didn't quite blossom in the early season classics. But after his TdF form, you're both right - he's got to be in with a good shout.

Chavanel is a good call too. Maybe a Cancellara, Sagan and Chavanel break will go up the road?

Getting excited about it now! Should be a cracking race!

posted by step-hent [703 posts]
16th July 2012 - 12:11

1 Like

Looking at the way Sagan plugs away on the climbs he could even be a GC contender in the future. He's been pretty impressive for 18 months now as an all rounder and won't just be points jerseys he has his eye on next year.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
16th July 2012 - 23:46

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MercuryOne wrote:
Looking at the way Sagan plugs away on the climbs he could even be a GC contender in the future. He's been pretty impressive for 18 months now as an all rounder and won't just be points jerseys he has his eye on next year.

I reckon next year is a bit soon for any GC chance. He'd have to lose a lot of weight and that would need to be fairly gradual to maintain both health and power. That's a multi-year project, if he decides to do it at all.

To be honest, I don't see him ever aiming at yellow in the Tour. He's a Sean Kelly kind of rider - likely to be competitive in one day races and shorter stage races, maybe even in a Vuelta if the route is right, but not enough of a pure climber to stick with it in the Tour or Giro day after day.

Whatever happens, it's going to make great viewing!

posted by step-hent [703 posts]
17th July 2012 - 8:31

3 Likes

LYMPICS!

posted by 6654henry [58 posts]
17th July 2012 - 9:34

2 Likes