Boogerd ends career with criterium

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) finished 8th in last year's Giro di Lombardia

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) finished 8th in last year's Giro di Lombardia (Image credit: Sirotti)

Even though Michael Boogerd was able to turn the pedals for 20 minutes on the rollers for the first time since his training crash last Friday which left him with a bacterial infection in his left knee, the Rabobank rider has decided for himself that his participation in the upcoming Giro di Lombardia on Saturday would make no sense. "I have to be realistic," Boogerd said. "My knee hurts too much and I can’t bend it. It's no use."

The Giro di Lombardia should have been his last ProTour race before retirement, and the Dutchman was looking forward to it. "Now I say 'goodbye' with a twelfth spot at the Worlds in Stuttgart. That’s what I have to do with," he added.

But on Sunday, 'Boogie' is still planned to make a showing at his farewell criterium in the Netherlands - including his beloved Cauberg in Valkenburg. "I will be there! How, I have to see, but I’m for sure going to ride one lap," the Dutchman insisted. In the evening, he will be giving a huge party attended by 350 guests. Amongst the invited will be World Champion Paolo Bettini, the brothers Fränk and Andy Schleck as well as Leontien van Moorsel.

Dutch media report that Boogerd will add another Amstel Curaçao Race on the tropical island on November 3 to his last season before definitely stepping off the bike. The Dutchman has 53 victories on his palmarès as a pro, amongst them the Brabantse Pijl twice and the Amstel Gold Race in 1999. He was three times Dutch champion and rode the Tour de France 12 times, where he won two stages.

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