Tour de France News for May 15, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
Boonen's Tour ambitions
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step-Davitamon) offered with great confidence his ambitions
for his first Tour de France participation this summer. The young Belgian,
who this year has already claimed victories in prestigious races such
as Gent-Wevelgem and the Scheldeprijs, adding the opening
stage of the Tour de Picardie to his list Friday, makes no secret
of his goal to win at least one stage at the Tour.
"I want to win two or three stages [at the Tour], or if that doesn't
work, try for the green jersey in Paris," Boonen said, quoted in an AFP
"I didn't really come here to win," Boonen said of his Tour de Picardie
performance. "Really I was thinking about preparation for the Tour. But,
at this point, I'm thinking seriously about the final victory. I think
I'm in good enough form to do it."
Boonen, who this year has come into his own as a sprinter, noted that
the presence of Alessandro Petacchi "shouldn't pose any problems".
Peron back from injury
Andrea Peron (Team CSC) returned to competition Friday after more than
two months of recovery from a broken hip. Peron was hit by a motorcyclist
while training in March, but was back in the peloton Friday at the opening
stage of the Tour de Picardie in France. Peron capped off a training schedule
of three to six hours each day in Varese, Italy.
"I think I've recovered really well and I've been training very hard,
even though it was also important not to push for an early comeback,"
Peron commented on the team's website (tema-csc.com). "I feel very good,
but only time will tell how good my form is.
"My main objective is still the Tour de France, but I hope to be back
at 100% already in Dauphiné Libéré," he added. "I
assume the Tour line-up will be known one to two weeks before the Tour
starts, and I'm sure I'll be a good help for the team if I'm selected."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)