Eurobike 2011 - We shake Jonny Hoogerland's hand
...and squeeze in a few words too from the Tour's hardcore hero
Cadel might have ended up in yellow, but many people's hero of the Tour de France was Vacansoleil's Jonny Hoogerland. Flung from his bike into a barbed wire fance by an errant TV car, Jonny needed 33 stitches in cuts to his legs and buttocks when he finished the Issoire to Saint Flour stage.
Jonny's at Eurobike and we briefly caught up with him at the Lizard Skins stand, where he was receiving a cheque for Stichting Jayden, a charity he's involved with that supports the families of children suffering from childhood neuroblastoma. Basically we wanted to shake the man's hand, but we managed to squeeze in a very quick interview too...
So, with your now legendary status, are Vacansoleil giving you the rest of the season off?
JH: Not likely! I'm racing in Canada and also in a whole bunch of classics races, finishing with the Giro di Lombardia. By the time the season's over I think I'll have the most racing days of any cyclist.
Did you see the crash coming?
JH: No, not at all. It was maybe one second. It was just a flash, But when I stood up and saw the injuries, I thought, fuck. This will be difficult. It wasn't that hard to finish the stage, you don't feel the pain actually, at that moment. The pain comes later. The day after, it was much worse. But I was scared of all the wounds, I was thinking: what will they say at the hospital?
Were you worried that they wouldn't let you continue?
JH: A little bit, yes. There was pain, but I knew I could ride.
And then, three or four days later, you're back off the front again...
JH: Well I wanted to keep the mountain jersey, so... It's a dream for me to ride in the Tour de France. I'm not going to quit. Maybe someone else would, but I'm not going to.