Vacansoleil secures wildcard for Lombardia
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vacansoleil secures wildcard for Lombardia

by Bjorn Haake at 12:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Lombardia
 

Dutch team Vacansoleil has secured a wildcard for the Giro di Lombardia on October 17. The outstanding Vuelta a España played a major part in securing the spot in the season-ending Italian classic.

The team's manager, Hilaire van der Schueren, was quite happy when he heard the news. "The fact that we receive a wildcard for this beautiful race is a recognition of how we presented ourselves at the races this year," Van der Schueren told Sportweek.nl.

One of the team's most aggressive riders, Johnny Hoogerland, will definitely ride Lombardia. The course should suit the Dutchman, having ended the Spanish Grand Tour in 12th place overall, after being seen in many breakaways early in the race. He then surprised everyone in the mountains and was never too far from the action.

Hoogerland was again at his best in the World Championships on Sunday, when he was in a big chase group, including defending champion Alessandro Ballan. Hoogerland attacked several times and even when the main peloton caught the group the Dutchman stayed close to the front, eventually finishing 14th.

Clad in orange his father, Kees, led the wild cheering of the Dutch fans, just as aggressively as his son was pushing his orange-colored team bike in the break.

But Vacansoleil is not a one-man show, and Borut Bozic managed to snatch a prestigious stage victory in the Vuelta a España. Bozic is the rider with the most wins for the team. Other riders with wins and podium spots were Lieuwe Westra, Baden Cooke, Jens Mouris and Bobbie Traksel.

The team also received an invitation for the Giro del Piemonte, two days prior to Lombardia.

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