Johnny Hoogerland calls his 2011 season to an early close
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Johnny Hoogerland calls his 2011 season to an early close

by Ben Atkins at 6:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics
 
Dutch Tour de France hero exhausted after 120 days racing this year

johnny hoogerlandJohnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) has called an early end to his 2011 season, according to de Telegraaf, citing fatigue after a long year’s racing. The Dutchman was one of the big heroes of the Tour de France in July after he and Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) were struck by a France Televisions car during stage nine to Saint-Flour. Hoogerland was sent flying off the road and landed on a barbed wire fence, ripping his shorts off and inflicting wounds that required 33 stitches.

The notoriety that the accident, and his refusal to quit the race, brought him, has meant that Hoogerland has been very much in demand ever since. A heavy race schedule this year though, has left him tired, which has led him to take the decision.

"I no longer recovery so quickly,” he told de Telegraaf. “I believe I’ve had 120 race days this year.”

Unfortunately, ending his season now means that Hoogerland will be missing the Giro di Lombardia on October 15th; a race that he finished in fifth place in 2009. With preparations

"My body is just tired,” he explained. “I have ridden two Grand Tours and participated in fifteen criteriums. Attacking in races is now really difficult.

After a full spring season, Hoogerland rode the Giro d’Italia; a race that was regarded as the toughest edition in memory. He then rode the Ster ZLM Toer before the Toru de France, where the accident happened while he was characterisitcally part of the stage-long break.

Despite the fame that the 28-year-old has since enjoyed, he still, unsurprisingly, would rather that the accident had not happened.

“I got noticed because it is a world event,” he said. “But it would still have been better if I had won that stage and had kept hold of the polka-dot jersey for longer. I was of course in super condition."

As well as the missed opportunity for results – on that day and those that followed as he rode through the pain of his wounds – Hoogerland is left with several scars across the back of his legs and buttocks to remind him of the incident.

"And they’re still there,” he said. “That is also annoying for my girlfriend, who doesn’t find them very nice; and I also feel the pain of the wounds occasionally."

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