My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Late season races are Hoogerland's 2012 plan

Category: Cycling

Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland had his big breakthrough at the Tour de France this year, where he wore the mountain jersey for several stages, but it was also a Tour de France where he suffered a lot due to a crash, where he was thrown into a barbed-wire fence on stage 9. Johnny HoogerlandThe crash happened when a French television car struck Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky). Hoogerland himself received 33 stitches.

Hoogerland may not have grabbed any big victories, but 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."

As most (or all) pro riders, Hoogerland is now preparing for the 2012 season. His training has just started, as he is planning to be ready for races 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."