2011 was a year of highs and lows for Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland. A breakthrough at the Tour de France, where he wore the mountain jersey for several stages, was overshadowed by a horror crash that could have killed him and ended his progress. And though he didn't grab any big victories he was pleased with his performances overall.
"I felt very good and very strong going into the Tour," he told Cyclingnews. "My conditioning was good and I was happy. So the crash was a very bad moment for me. Not just because of the incident itself but because I'll never know what might have happened if I hadn't crashed that day. I also performed well in the Classics, particularly the Amstel Gold Race, but there was no big win for me and that was a pain. It's something I'm definitely looking at correcting next year."
Turning to his plans for 2012, Hoogerland said that his training is only just taking shape and that he will be starting off later than usual because of his big targets towards the end of the season.
"I've only just started to train properly and at the moment only for about three hours a day," the Vacansoleil-DCM rider said. "I'll be going off to train with the team in December for ten days and then more in January. I'll start my season at the Tour of Algarve, which is later than normal for me. It's going to be a long season with the Olympics and the Worlds and it'll hard to keep going into those final months. So I need to keep plenty in reserve.
"The Classics, as usual, will be important. I'll hopefully be racing at La Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After that I'll have an easy May before gearing up for the Tour and the Olympics. I really hope to be part of the Olympics in London. It's one of my dreams. But it's also a dream for lots of cyclists from my country so I will have to work hard to make the team."