Cycling - Boonen recovers in time for Tour of Oman

Omega Pharma-Quick Step sprinter Tom Boonen is set to ride the Tour of Oman after recovering from a septic infection in his elbow.

The six-times Tour de France stage winner picked up the problem in his left elbow following a mountain bike crash and was forced to undergo an operation at the Herentals Clinic in Belgium last week.

The 32-year-old confirmed the procedure was a success and that he will be able to compete in the six-stage road race in the Arab state, which runs from February 11 to 16.

"If everything will be okay as it is now, I will participate in the race," Boonen said. "The Tour of Oman will be an important step to build up my condition prior to the Classics."

The Belgian national champion has already returned to the saddle and is expected to join the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team camp in Mallorca on Wednesday.

"Fortunately things are going well," said Boonen. "I went out for a short ride on Saturday, and on Sunday and yesterday I was able to put together three hours of training.

"Today (Tuesday) I did two hours on the home trainer because of the bad weather here in Belgium.

"I feel every day a little bit better, which is a good sign. That's why, together with the team, I decided to join some of my team-mates busy with the training camp in Mallorca.

"I'm really happy to join the group — it's also important for my morale."