Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen to race at Three Days of De Panne in Belgium
Last Updated: 25/03/13 3:50pm
Tom Boonen is looking to regain full fitness after injuring his knee during Gent-Wevelgem
Tom Boonen will line up alongside Mark Cavendish at the Three Days of De Panne this week as the Belgian looks to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
Boonen abandoned Gent-Wevelgem yesterday after colliding with a kerb with 65km to go and injuring his knee in the subsequent fall.
The 32-year-old, who is searching for a record fourth Tour of Flanders victory and second in a row, spent time on a turbo trainer at home this morning as he continued his preparations.
"The knee is still slightly swollen and it hurts, but I really have to work on my racing rhythm this week as well, prior to the Ronde [Tour of Flanders]," Boonen said. "We will take it day by day and see how I feel."
Cavendish, meanwhile, will look to add to his tally of six wins so far this season on the two stages of the Three Days of De Panne that appear certain to end in bunch sprints.
The Belgian race is played out over four stages, with a rolling stage on Tuesday being followed by flat stages on Wednesday and Thursday morning, and then a 14.76km individual time trial on Thursday afternoon.
Sylvain Chavanel won the race last year and will return to defend his title after being named alongside Boonen and Cavendish in the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team.
The race has attracted the world's best sprinters, with Andre Greipel, Peter Sagan, Arnaud Demare, Marcel Kittel and Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Giolek all taking part.
Three Days of De Panne
Stage 1: Tuesday, March 26 - Middelkerke to Zottegem, 119.8km
Stage 2: Wednesday, March 27 - Oudenaarde to Koksijde (St Idesbald), 208.9km
Stage 3: Thursday, March 28 - De Panne to De Panne, 109.7km
Stage 4: Thursday, March 28 - De Panne to De Panne, 14.75km individual time trial