Roubaix injury report: Boonen OK, others on the bubble

Several riders crashed in the Tour of Flanders, including classics legend Tom Boonen — who is a go for Paris-Roubaix.

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Tom Boonen shrugged off a scare last weekend and will be able to race Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, but others remain on the injury bubble.

The Etixx – Quick-Step rider suffered a small crash in Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) on the descent of Kruisberg-Hotond, but doctors said despite a minor injury to his arm and wrist, the veteran Belgian will be able to race the “Hell of the North.”

“My form [for Roubaix] is as good as it gets,” Boonen said at the start of Wednesday’s Scheldeprijs. “I will have a chance Sunday because it’s the race that suits me best. The condition is good and getting better. I will give everything.”

Others who crashed at Flanders are on the bubble for Roubaix.

Tiesj Benoot of Lotto – Soudal suffered a deep gash to his elbow and has slowly returned to training. He will preview some of the Roubaix sectors with his teammates to decide if he’s up for racing.

“The injury that causes most trouble for Tiesj is the [deep cut] on his elbow. The bruised shoulder is better, and the abrasions to his hands, arms and legs are healing well,” Lotto – Soudal team doctor Servaas Bingé said. “It’s of course not easy to ride Paris-Roubaix with that kind of injury. On Thursday we’ll see how the recon goes and if racing on Sunday is realistic.”

Milano-Sanremo winner Arnaud Démare of FDJ went down in the same crash as Benoot, and suffered equally serious cuts and scrapes. The French sprinter did not start Scheldeprijs, and the team will decide Thursday after doing a recon of some of the Roubaix cobbles if he can race.

BMC Racing had the wind taken out of its classics season when team captain Greg Van Avermaet crashed out of Flanders with a broken collarbone. After undergoing surgery, Van Avermaet hopes to return in top form for the Tour de France in July. Team officials said a few other riders who were penciled in to race Roubaix — Marcus Burghardt, Manuel Quinziato, and Michael Schar — might not be able to start either.

“We’ll be lining up at Paris-Roubaix without Greg as our leader but we’ll be just as motivated to stamp our authority on the race,” BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz said. “We’ve been through things like this before, so we regrouped after [Flanders] and we came up with a working plan for this week. We’ll be going into Paris-Roubaix with some new players on our roster who weren’t necessarily scheduled to race but are prepared to do so.”

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