For the second time in his cycling career, Johnny Hoogerland has had a very untimely crash. The former Tour de France star and winner of three UCI Gran Fondo World Series races crashed hard while training for the upcoming 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
The retired Dutch pro cyclist now living in Austria was the odds-on favorite to win the 35-39 year-old Gran Fondo World Championship on 10 October in Sarajevo after strong victories at qualifying races and at the world famous Ötztaler Radmaraton.
Sadly, he crashed while descending Wurzenpass at over 80kph on the Austrian-Slovenian boarder and had to be transported to hospital for treatment of severe bruises and major road rash.
On social media Hoogerland posted: “Bad end of a beautiful ride. Luckily no broken bones after my worst nightmare. Crashing in the decent of the Wurzenpass. Thanks to my awesome friends, help was directly there. Thank god we’re both somehow ok.”
While Hoogerland has yet to comment on participating in the World Championships, it is possible he will withdraw due to his injuries and required recovery time.
For Hoogerland it must feel like 2011, like déjà vu.
In 2011 at one moment Hoogerland was racing for a Tour de France stage victory, the next moment his hopes were crushed when he cartwheeled through the air and crashed into a barb wire fence. Hoogerland looked as if he had been attacked by a leopard, with barb wire cuts streaming blood all over his legs and body.
Amazingly, he remounted his bike to finished the stage and pull on the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey.
Hmm, someone that tough just might make it to the World Championship start line in Sarajevo…