Tom Boonen (Quick Step) woke up this morning feeling very bad and decided to abandon the Tour de France. He says that he has not been feeling well with the start of the race but today, his illness — fever, headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches — just got worse. Hopefully it’s not swine flu.
The Tour is now heading into the Alps, the most punishing part of the race, not exactly Boonen’s specialty (he is a sprinter). Boonen did not expect to start this year because of a cocaine incident (minuscule amounts found in his blood, but outside competition) and his team went to court to force the Tour to let him start. So it’s disappointing for him and his team that after all that, Boonen falls ill. Sad.
The Belgian press has been very hard on Boonen because of all his non-cycling escapades (indulging in cocaine outside races).