Dutchman Johnny “Barb Wire” Hoogerland scored double victories at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying event in Bosnia-Herzegovina this past weekend. The former professional rider, best known for being run off the road into a barb wire fence by a Tour de France race official in 2011, won the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Time Trial on Friday and the Gran Fondo Road Race on Sunday at ALE Gran Fondo Istocno Sarajevo.

It was Hoogerland’s third UCI Gran Fondo World Series victory in 2021 after winning UCI Maraton Franja in June.  It makes him the odds on favorite to win the Gran Fondo World Championship and pull on one or two world champion rainbow jerseys in October back in Sarajevo.

After winning the Gran Fondo Road Race on Sunday Hoogerland said, “It was quite hard, but as someone who loved mountain stages throughout his professional career, I did well. The competition was well organized, at the level of those held around the world, and I can’t wait to come in October. I now understand cycling as fun and enjoyment, so it is very important to me to have a good time at every race. I enjoyed East Sarajevo and I promise to see you in October.”

Although a former top tier UCI WorldTour professional rider who raced in the Tour de France, current UCI rules allow Hoogerland to compete in the amateur Gran Fondo World Championships since he 1) retired five years ago in 2016, 2) has not competed in the World Championships, Olympic Games, Continental Games, Regional Games, Commonwealth Games, or a World Cup race this year, 3) has no UCI points and 4) is not a member of a registered UCI professional team.

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