Boonen wants green finish

Boonen wants to finish in green
By Eurosport

27/10/2006 at 19:24Updated

Tom Boonen is hoping to finish the Tour de France for the first time since 2004, this time with the green jersey on his shoulders. The Belgian pulled out of the 2006 edition without winning a single stage after taking two stages in each of the previous tw

Boonen told the Belgian press agency Belga he planned to finish next year's Grande Boucle after the 2007 edition's route was revealed on Thursday.

"I had to abandon during the last two Tours, but this year, I hope to fight up until Paris for the green jersey," the 2005 World Champion said.

Boonen's Quick Step sporting director Patrick Lefevere said that despite the mountainous layout of the 2007 edition that takes away sprint opportunities for Boonen, he was happy with the course.

"There are a few chances at the start, then again just before and after the Pyrénées," the Belgian told La Derniere Heure. "For us, for our sponsor, winning in Ghent would be extraordinary."

"But I have to be honest, modern cycling does not need ten sprints in the Tour."

Boonen also said winning at home was one of his main goals for this Grande Boucle.

"The first stage on the continent [the Tour starts in London, England] travels from Dunkirk to Ghent. It's a stage for riders like me," said Boonen, who wore the yellow jersey before retiring in 2005 and the green jersey before retiring in 2005.

"It's always nice to ride in front of your public. It also gives me more responsibility."

"I would love to win a race in the first week and again be able to wear the yellow jersey. It was fantastic to wear the yellow jersey last year."