• Tom Boonen is ready to make plans for the 2016 race season (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) has made his first public appearance since crashing out of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour where he sustained a serious head injury.
Cycling Central

25 Nov 2015 - 9:16 AM 

Boonen sustained the injury during a crash on Stage 2 of the Tour and was immediately taken to the hospital. A CT scan showed a left temporal bone fracture. As a result, he had to stay in the Emirates for a couple of days more before returning home, where the doctors ordered him to rest and take things easy.

Over the last five weeks the 35-year-old has made progress on his recovery and has started working to prepare for the new season. While he is not ready to race yet, Boonen confirmed that doctors have given him green light to return on his bike and start training.  

What’s with racing through injury?
Breaking a bone and finishing a stage is one thing, writes Kath Bicknell. But once the full impact of an injury becomes clear, how healthy is it to keep on racing regardless?

"Things are going well after my crash. When I came back home from Abu Dhabi I was tired and in pain, but day by day I began feeling better and now everything is heading into the right direction,” he said at a press conference prior to the Boonen and Friends Charity event.

“It's a difficult fracture, but it's healing well, even if I can't compare it with any of the other fractures I've had. Still, I'm happy, because a few days ago I have finally returned to training, not very intense ones, around three-hour long, followed by a couple of days of rest, as the doctors recommended me not to rush things. It's really important to listen to my body and do things right before the new season."

The Etixx-QuickStep’s first training camp for the new season will take place in Denia, Spain in two weeks’ time. There, the Belgian wants to reconnect with his team-mates and get back in the mood for racing.

"I can't wait for the training camp to be underway,” he said. “I miss the guys, the staff, that great feeling that I have when I'm with the whole team. Denia will be perfect to outline my schedule and start focusing on 2016."

The Boonen and Friends Charity Cyclocross takes place for the sixth year now on Saturday, and reunites 50 top road cyclists at the start line. They will ride on a two kilometre long track designed inside of the Park of Zilvermeer, with the aim of backing the Move To Improve and Bijs charities.

"This cyclocross is very important for me,” said Boonen. “I hope many people will come to support the riders and the two charities involved. The people taking care of this event did a fine job and I'm sure we'll have a great time and a fun day.

“Unfortunately, I can't race, but I'll be there to welcome all my fans."