Hoogerland: "Better next year"
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hoogerland: "Better next year"

by Bjorn Haake at 4:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Johnny Hoogerland had a breakout season in 2009, but promises to even improve in 2010. He continues to ride for Vacansoleil, despite being chased by other teams.

"2010 will be even better!" Hoogerland told Omroep Zeeland. The Dutchman stays with Vacansoleil, where he negotiated a better contract. Despite being chased by ProTour teams such as Milram, he enjoys the opportunities with his team. "Here, I have it my way and to a certain degree I have my freedom."

Hoogerland rode for Rabobank in his youth, but left in 2001, because of a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio that was too high. He won't exclude a return to the Dutch team. "That was a bad period, but I never said I wouldn't ride for Rabobank again," Hoogerland emphasized. "Rabobank is a nice, great team. However, there are agreements between the Dutch teams to not grab riders from other [Dutch] teams."

In 2009 Hoogerland won the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and showed his Classics potential with a 12th place in the Tour of Flanders. He rode aggressively throughout the Vuelta a España where he finished 12th overall.

The Spanish tour seemed to be just a warm-up for the Fall Classics, where he rode strongly in the World Championship road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and finished his season off with an impressive 5th in the Giro di Lombardia. Hoogerland's strong ride in Lombardy was an emotional dedication to the late Frank Vandenbrouke, where he wore a shirt saying “pers te VDB”, that means “for you VDB”.

His highlights for next season will be the Spring Classics and he would love to ride the Giro d'Italia. "I want to peak for the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, because those kinds of races suit me perfectly. But I also hope to ride the Giro and I want to do the Tour de France next year."

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