Dutchman critical of senior riders' Classics performances
Former Rabobank professional Michael Boogerd has called for a review of the Dutch ProTour team’s roster after their disappointing Classics season. The Dutchman urged the team to remain patient with its younger riders, but suggested that senior members of the squad should be held accountable for the team's lack of results this spring.
While Oscar Freire was able to secure the team a major Classics victory at Milan-San Remo, the team failed to fire through the remainder of the spring and finished outside the top-ten at every subsequent Classic.
Commenting on the largely lacklustre performance of Dutch riders throughout the Classics in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Boogerd believed Rabobank need to be prepared to let the axe fall on some members of the team.
"In any event it is clear that the composition of the Rabobank team needs to be thoroughly scrutinized," wrote Boogerd.
"Outside Freire in San Remo the team came up short. Paul Martens' performances were nice, but for the most part the Rabo riders were nowhere. The team should ask whether a rider like Nick Nuyens has achieved what he was hired for. If that is below expectations, then you must be prepared to change things."
He was also critical of the generation of Dutch Rabobank riders that took up the mantle of team leadership following his own retirement in 2007. Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening, Laurens ten Dam and Bram Tankink were singled-out by their former teammate.
"There should be criticism of the generation which succeeded Erik Dekker and me. Men such as Posthuma, Weening, Ten Dam and Tankink were expected to carry the standard, but they have not made that step."
But Boogerd defended the performances of younger riders Robert Gesink, Lars Boom and Sebastiaan Langeveld. While Gesink was unable to repeat his podium position at the 2009 Amstel Gold Race, Boom and Langeveld finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at E3 Prijs Harelbeke. Boogerd argued that the trio remain a force for the future.
"We must be not too negative concerning these racers. We must have patience, because riders like Gesink, Boom and Langeveld have time to build up for the long Classics [in the future]. They have the potential, they've proved that in the past already. This year their development has stalled a bit."
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