Boogerd criticizes Rabobank for failed Dutch spring
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Boogerd criticizes Rabobank for failed Dutch spring

by VeloNation Press at 10:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix, Four Days of Dunkirk, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne

Lars BoomFormer professional cyclist Michael Boogerd has openly criticized his former Rabobank team in his column in De Telegraaf.  The Dutchman said that he feels the development of young talent in his country has become stagnant, pointing out the recent failed spring Classics campaign as an alarming circumstance.

Boogerd retired in 2007 in the Rabobank colors, where he spent the majority of his 14-year career.  His major successes were Paris-Nice (1999), two stages in the Tour de France and he won the Amstel Gold race once, finishing on the podium another five times. He was also Dutch champion three times (1997, 1998, 2006).

The single success for the Dutch this spring was a top ten finish by Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) in the Amstel Gold Race.  He wasn't too impressed by the performance of his 34 year old compatriot, and chalks his finish up to experience:  "At crucial moments you could see he didn't have the form.  Only on the basis of his age he could still finish top ten in the sprint."

He continued on about the Rabobank performances: "Robert Gesink we have not seen in his [Ardennes] week. For Sebastian Langeveld his lamp in [the Tour of] Flanders went out too early. Lars Boom fell back after 210 kilometres, but for his development is rather normal."  Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoliel) was expected to do well this season, but Boogerd pointed out that he arrived at the Classics with his best form behind him.

His biggest disappointments were with Rabobank riders Joost Posthuma, Bram Tankink, Laurens Ten Dam, Pieter Weening, as well as Dutch on other teams including Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Transitions) and Niki Terpstra (Milram), all riders that, in his opinion, seem to have lost their way.

Boogerd admitted it's too soon to count out riders like Gesink, Boom and Langeveld, adding that they have proven their class in the past, but said they seem to have stalled in their development.

While he doesn't hold the personnel decisions squarely on the Rabobank management, he thinks it's time for a thorough evaluation that includes scouting for some fresh home-grown talent, and making some tough personnel choices.  Erik Dekker, who is now a sports director for the team, rode alongside Boogerd on Rabobank, and it's their shoes that have yet to be filled.  The spring campaign for the Rabobank team opened on a high note with Oscar Freire's third Milan-Sanremo victory, but the fact he is Spanish excludes his success from Boogerd's analysis.


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