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Michael Boogerd (Rabobank)
The Tour de Suisse is the last test for Rabobank before the Tour de France starts on July 7, and...
The Tour de Suisse is the last test for Rabobank before the Tour de France starts on July 7, and although Michael Boogerd came in seven minutes down on Stage 3 winner Alessandro Proni, there is nothing to worry about says team manager Adri van Houwelingen. "He is not yet at his strongest, and that probably won't change during the race. But next week when he is at home, rest will be his priority," explained Van Houwelingen. "Then he will be fully recovered from the race and from that will be stronger for the start of the Tour".
Boogerd is no longer suffering from the knee injury that sidelined him at the Volta a Catalunya in May. "No-one need worry about that, I will be fine. If I continue to ride as I am now, it should be no problem," he told Algemeen Dagbald.
Boogerd came to the Swiss climber's race in order to improve his condition for the Tour, the same preparation strategy he used last year. "Last year I came good after the Tour de Suisse, and even then I found it difficult during the first few days," he said. "I came here this year two and a half kilos heavier, I didn't do anything for 11 days and the week before that I only trained for a few hours a day so it is logical that the form is not there. In training I don't mind hurting, but in racing I hate it! I know it will pay off though, and I knew I would suffer here."
Boogerd's team-mate, Theo Eltink, is also suffering in the Tour de Suisse, a race that was not initially on his schedule, but one which he finds himself riding after having to pull out of the Dauphiné Libéré due to stomach problems. Eltink is here to gain form and show the team that he deserves a spot at the Tour de France, which he was originally pre-selected for. Van Houwelingen is not so sure though: "If this is the best that he has in him at the moment, then the Tour is going to be too hard for him," he explained. It seems Eltink is going to have to come up with something special to realise his Tour spot.