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

Was Boogerd offered money to lose 1998 Lombardia?

Category: Cycling

In the past, if two or more riders were part of a breakaway, it happened that riders paid a lot of money to be allowed to take the victory. It may still happen, but I hope the cycling sport is more honest nowadays.

Former Rabobank rider Michael Boogerd claims that Oscar Camenzind (Mapei-Bricobi) owes him 40,000 Swiss francs after the Swiss rider took a six second victory over Boogerd at the 1998 Giro di Lombardia.

"We agreed: who wins pays," Boogerd said in an interview with Wielerland Magazine. "That happens sometimes in racing, though I was not a fan of it because it relies on the winner paying up. We agreed on an amount of 40,000 Swiss Francs..."

The two riders moved away from the peloton on the descent of the the Forcella di Burra into Bergamo and built a gap of over a minute. The riders worked together until Bergamo, where Camenzind dropped Boogerd.

Six days earlier, Camenzind had won the world championships in Valkenburg, which means he was in a good form anyway. The Swiss rider says that Boogerd's claims are false.

"In 2000 at the Tour of Valencia he came to me with that story," he explained. "Why was he suddenly asking me for money two years later?

"I want to tell you how it is. I was super that day. Just before Bergamo he offered me a sum of money if I would let him win. I told him that I wanted to win. Moreover, the amount was so low that I could not take him seriously... Why should I have to give a weaker rider money?"