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Hoogerland recieved 33 stitches after a horric crash
Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland has reached a new level of fame to become a real hero and inspiration to cycling fans around the world—although it's almost certain he would rather he hadn't.
Hoogerland was involved in the accident that saw Juan Antonio Flecha struck by a car whilst the pair were part of a breakaway group. Although it was Flecha who was side-swiped by the car, Hoogerland had the more dramatic fall.
Riding just behind Flecha, Johnny was catapulted over his handlebars and off the road into a barbed wire fence at high speed.
With a destroyed set of shorts and blood pouring down his legs, the brave Dutchman untangled himself, pulled on a new pair of shorts and rode on, the medical bike patching him up as he rode.
He eventually finished the stage behind the main peloton, but his emotional podium visit to collect the polka dot jersey will be one of the more sobering moments of the tour.
The calmness and refusal to point the finger of blame raised his stock further as Hoogerland reminded the world that it was merely an accident, and the driver has not acted deliberately.
After receiving 33 stitches to his legs, the real effort and hero status came as the little known Dutchman cycled on to complete the tour. Johnny Hoogerland is the hero of Le Tour 2011.