PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
For one it was business as usual, for the other it was a new beginning. Rabobank's Michael Boogerd and CSC's Karsten Kroon can look back at the Amstel Gold Race from very different perspectives. Boogerd made it onto the podium, Kroon didn't, but it was the latter who got the greatest satisfaction out of the day, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"It was a wonderful day. Frank Schleck and I were the captains and it was a really good feeling going into the finale like that, because last year I didn't have the opportunity to ride for my own chance. This year I could, and at the hardest moment of the race, on the top of Keutenberg after Frank attacked, I just controlled the group behind. It was a nice feeling being able to control the best riders in the world, I mean I was there with Rebellin, Boogerd, Bettini and so on," said a delighted Kroon following his team-mate Frank Schleck's win and his own fourth place.
Last year Kroon was designated to support the other captains on the Rabobank team at Amstel, but has since moved to CSC to pursue his own objectives.
Boogerd, on the other hand, was once again one of the leaders on the Rabo team, and once again the team failed to deliver. "I'm not frustrated about the podium place today, but I had hoped that I would have had Oscar Freire with me in the last breakaway. The plan was that I should help him in the final and I was a bit surprised that he wasn't there because he'd been riding very strong in the Tour of the Basque Country. But I got caught out as the only Rabobank rider in the group behind Schleck, and why should I do all the work and then again be 'the loser'?" said Boogerd with reference to his many podium places, notably in the Dutch Classic.
However, the Dutchman is looking forward to next weekend's Lige-Bastogne-Lige. "I'm confident about Lige. It's a different race and not as nervous as this," said the Rabo veteran.
But Kroon isn't short of confidence either. "I don't know how I will recover, but I'm going for the win in Flche Wallonne and Lige," said Kroon, who expects to have a protected role in the CSC squad alongside Schleck and Ivan Basso.
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM