Johnny Hoogerland loses against trotter horse in charity event
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Johnny Hoogerland loses against trotter horse in charity event

by Bjorn Haake at 1:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dutchman goes down two to one in nail-biter finish

johnny hoogerlandJohnny Hoogerland participated in an event that raised money for better treatment for certain kinds of child cancer, racing against a trotter horse yesterday. Hoogerland went down two to one in the three-heat race against "Unforgettable". The race was held in the Victoria park hippodrome in Wolvega, Netherlands.

Despite the narrow loss, Hoogerland didn't regret the decision to participate. "It was very special, for a very good cause," he told Dutch television station NOS. "I am very happy that I participated, in such a stadium and with those spectators."

He was racing on the paved inside of the track, whereas "Unforgettable" raced on the regular sand track on the outside. They used a flying start as both, cyclist and horse, entered the finishing straight. Hoogerland warmed up very well on a chilly night in Wolvega, with the race taking place under the stadium's flood lights.

Hoogerland took the first race rather decisively and lost the second one. The third race was very tight. As in the previous heats, Hoogerland took an early lead, but saw "Unforgettable" get closer towards the finishing line. It was a very close decision in the end, but the horse had the nose ahead of Hoogerland's front wheel.

Hoogerland did not win a race this season, but wore the leader's jersey of the Etoile de Bessèges after stage three. He finished the 152km stage between Saint-Victor-la-Coste and Laudun in second place, behind Samuel Dumoulin.

The 2011 Hoogerland will mostly be remembered for the Tour de France incident in stage nine. Hoogerland was taken out by a driver for French television and catapulted into a barbed wire fence. The driver, who was later expelled from the race, did not obey instructions and was right next to the breakaway riders. He then avoided a tree by crashing into Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha. Both riders were able to continue after treatment by race doctors, with Hoogerland soldiering on for several days in the King of the Mountains jersey.


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