Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) has decided to call time on his 2011 season, citing fatigue and the injuries he sustained at the Tour de France as contributing factors. Hoogerland took out 12th in this year's Amstel Gold, but felt that continuing further this year "would hurt future seasons."
"I never had time to properly recover and regenerate since the end of the Tour," Hoogerland told De Telegraaf. "My body is just ‘done’. I’ve done two Grand Tours and rode 15 of the post-Tour criteriums. I’ve done something like 120 days of racing this year. I just don’t have the energy to continue."
The Dutch rider’s last race, the elite men’s road race in Copenhagen nearly ended well for Hoogerland, with the 28-year-old featuring in a late break that also included Thomas Voeckler. That move was eventually brought back by a tenacious British team; however it did give Hoogerland some encouragement for next year’s worlds taking place in Holland.
"It was great to have a go, but I’ll try again next year, when the championships return to Holland."
Hoogerland still thinks about what could have been at the Tour de France with ‘that crash’. In the day’s winning breakaway, he became the centre of global headlines when a media car from the convoy swerved suddenly as it attempted to drive past the escape, plowing into Hoogerland and throwing the Dutchman into a barbed wire fence on the side of the road.
Though it has helped to raise his profile, both in Holland and abroad, he regrets missing out on the opportunity to contest the finish.
"If I had won a stage and had retained the polka dot jersey for longer I would be really happy with the season. I was in really good form, but that’s life."