Boonen to focus on green jersey defense

  • By
  • Published Apr. 15, 2008
  • Updated Apr. 16, 2008 at 4:20 AM EDT
Boonen says he wants another Tour de France green jersey.

Photo: Graham Watson

Still savoring his second Paris-Roubaix victory, Quick Step’s Tom Boonen said Tuesday he now wants to focus all of his efforts on retaining his Tour de France green points jersey this July.

The 27-year-old Belgian, who celebrated victory in the legendary spring classic on Sunday, said he was going to take a 10-day break after Wednesday’s Escaut Grand Prix and recover from a busy spring.

“I need to relax on the days following the Paris-Roubaix,” said Boonen, who has won six stages on the Tour de France. “You need to let the muscles relax after such a race.

“It is clear that I haven’t recovered completely after the big effort on Sunday. It will take me some more time; that is normal.”

Boonen said that after his break, he expects to begin a gradual build-up in order to defend the Tour de France points jersey he won last year.

“Now, the next big target is the green jersey,” he said. “All will depend on the first week. If I can collect enough points then there will be a good chance. After that, the world road race course at Varese (Italy) will suit me well.

“Certain riders said they have found it hard, but you can never compare looking over a course with the race itself.”

Boonen is expected to compete in the Tour of Belgium and the Dauphiné Libéré in preparation for July.


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