Johnny Hoogerland didn't rack up a single mountain point at the Tour de Suisse, but he is planning to take the polka-dot jersey at the upcoming Tour de France. The Vacansoleil-DCM rider wore that jersey for five stages at last year's Tour.
“More than last year, I have put my mind to the mountain jersey, although I know that it is not easy,” he told De Telegraaf. “You need luck and a couple of times a good offense. There are a few stages where you can pick up a lot of points.”
Hoogerland finished 56th in Switzerland. “I got the kilometers that I needed to improve. That was successful. Now a few days rest and then with the team to try and make something good at the national road championships.”
The Dutchman had worn the King of the Mountains jersey for several stages earlier in the 2011 Tour, and regained it on the dramatic ninth stage – which also nearly saw the end of his Tour. As part of an escape group, Hoogerland had won points on all six climbs of the day to regain the jersey.
But with only 36 km to go, a media car hit breakaway companion Juan Antonio Flecha of Team Sky. Hoogerland subsequently crashed into the Spaniard and was himself catapulted onto a barbed wire fence.
Both riders finished the stage, and Hoogerland accepted the polka dot jersey with extensive bandages on his legs and tears in his eyes.
Although he rode the Tour to the end, the injuries were too severe to allow him to continue to climb well, and he lost the jersey again only two stages later.
“In 2011 it wasn't really a goal, but it happened. It was a shame I never got the chance to finally go for it,” Hoogerland said. He hopes to make up for it this year.
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