Boonen hospitalized after Eneco Tour ugly crash

Tom Boonen was forced to abandon the Eneco Tour after a heavy fall on Thursday’s fourth stage.

The Etixx – Quick-Step rider was eating when his front wheel hit a pothole in the road some 50 kilometers into the 202km stage between Aalter and St-Pieters-Leeuw.

“The wheel came off and Tom fell,” Etixx manager Patrick Lefevere said. “As my rider felt groggy, the decision was immediately taken to transport him to hospital for more tests.”

Boonen was using the Eneco Tour as warmup race for next month’s UCI Road World Championships in Qatar — where he had been expected to lead the Belgium team.