Boonen crashes the green party

Tom Boonen may have failed to compete for the green jersey, but a second stage win suggests it won't

Tom Boonen may have failed to compete for the green jersey, but a second stage win suggests it won't
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE The final stage to the Champs Elyses is the one every sprinter wants to win. Last year's winner, Jean-Patrick Nazon (Ag2r), did everything he could to do the double, but in an aggressive sprint had to settle for the runner's-up spot behind Quick Step's Tom Boonen. Having also won the sixth stage to Angers, avoiding the mass crash at the kilometre-to-go banner, Boonen wasn't able to pick a favourite win, despite the prestigious nature of a Champs Elyses victory. "I can't compare them," the Belgian said. "Both of them are important, and I really can't choose between them." Boonen came to the 2004 Tour with ambition to compete for the green jersey, but a tough early week, including being involved in two crashes, meant that that goal will have to wait another year. "I'll be back to try again," Boonen confirmed. "But I'm happy with my two stage victories, that's for sure." Boonen's next race will now be the HEW Cyclassics World Cup race in Hamburg, Germany, in August, and he'll use the time in between to rest. "So I don't regret not going to the Olympics," Boonen said. "It's so hard to hold your condition. I'm tired, so it's best to rest for a bit now." Party time tonight then? "Actually, no," Boonen smiled. "In fact, I'm heading straight home to Belgium tonight."

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