Boonen battling on
Tom Boonen battles back from injury.
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2007 17:20 GMT

Tom Boonen: Breaking out the band aids [GALLO/GETTY]

Leading Belgian rider Tom Boonen is on the road to recovery from injuries sustained during the Tour of Flanders.
Boonen crashed in Sunday's race and hurt both knees and his left wrist before limping over the line in a disappointing 12th place behind Italian winner Alessandro Ballan.
"My first objective in Ghent-Wevelgem is to find out how my wrist and knees will react during competition," former winner Boonen said.
"I am able to ride my bike, but my injuries are still painful."

The Ghent-Wevelgem is a 208-km race with the main challenge provided by a double assault on the short but incredibly steep Kemmelburg climb.

However, the flat 40-km run-in to Wevelgem often sees the riders regroup for a bunch sprint finish.

Neither Ballan nor reigning world champion Paolo Bettini of Italy will be taking part in the midweek race.

Ballan will return for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix while Bettini is preparing for the Ardennes Classics at the end of April, and their absence should make for an open race.

If Boonen can repeat his 2004 triumph, he will take over as ProTour leader from current leader Alberto Contador of Spain.

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