"It's a real pity that I didn't win," Michael Boogerd told his fans on the team's website after his fifth-place finish in Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege. "I can live with it; but I am not happy about it. The team worked really well, until after La Redoute I didn't suffer at all. So that was really nice." Juan Antonio Flecha and Alexandr Kolobnev were in the first serious break of the day. On the Côte de Wanne the peloton took it back. And the other Rabobank riders kept Boogerd out off the wind until then.
"I gave a lot when I was in the front, although I was careful and I kept a bit in reserve. In hindsight you can say that you wasted power then, but it could have been that they didn't get back to us. But I did have enough energy left. Because I could follow easily; even more, I answered a few attacks. I knew I was without chances in the sprint against Valverde though."
"If I had known that things would turn out that way, I would have kept a few bombs in my pocket for the last kilometres. Maybe I would have had the power left to place a last attack. But yeh, if you would know such things in advance..." he told HNB.
Team director Erik Breukink was happy with Boogerd's race. "When he got injured earlier, he focused on the last two classics of the spring. He suffered a lot in the Tour of the Basque country, but the results came. Michael is a man with character, he can do those things."
"Michael took his chance. He came really close, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. And besides that, we got through the hard race pretty well. No injuries, no punctures. And in that surprisingly big front group we were well represented. CSC broke their teeth on that one; something we luckily didn't have to do."
Courtesy Sabine Sunderland