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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Michael Boogerd
BOOGERD FACTFILE
Michael Boogerd
DOB: 28/5/1972
Nationality: Dutch
Best Tour: Fifth - 1998
At 32, Boogerd is arguably past his best as a Tour rider.

He has struggled to live up to the promise he showed as a 26-year-old when he ended the race fifth overall and was talked about as a future winner.

He finish 32nd in last year's event and is again unlikely to trouble the leaders in the general classification.

But, if this season is anything to go by, a stage win must be the main target after he shone in a series of World Cup races.

The Dutchman must be chomping at the bit for a victory, having twiced been edged out in the Spring classics by his recent nemesis Davide Rebellin, who outfoxed him to the line at the Amstel Gold race and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Whie being a potential stage winner, he lacks the consistency to really challenge throughout the entire three weeks.

In the stage nine time trial in 2002, for example, he finished 65th - a disastrous position for a rider hoping to challenge in the general classification.

Then, on stage 19 - the second time trial - he was a thoroughly respectable 13th.

For all his inconsistencies, he is still prone to moments of brilliance, most recently his stage 16 win at La Plagne in 2002.

On that day he proved too strong even for Lance Armstrong, who had to make do with third place more than a minute behind Boogerd.

There is no denying the Dutchman's sporting pedigree - he was a school friend of former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek.

It remains to be seen which Boogerd, however, shows up at this year's race - champion or also ran.

On this season's form, he may yet prove himself.





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