Tour de France Rule #5 Award: Johnny Hoogerland

Tour de France Rule #5 Award: Johnny Hoogerland

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Not an absolute; the beauty of Rule #5 is the graduated scale upon which it is measured. Rule #5 means to push yourself beyond the signals your body sends to stop what you’re doing, usually with ever-increasing urgency. It means to disobey reason and to surpass physical boundaries previously considered impassable. This is why Rule #5 stands apart: it is measured upon a personal scale; not against others, but against the very limits of your own mind and body.

In a tradition started last year, the Velominati hand out the Rule #5 Award to the rider whom we feel most embodied the spirit of Rule #5 during the hardest race of the year, Le Tour de France. By overwhelming consensus, the community has identified Johnny Hoogerland as the most deserving winner this year; as such, we present him with this humble award for fighting through one of the most gruesome crashes any of us can recall.

Brett’s Take:

In New Zealand, there’s a saying that “you can fix anything with Number 8 fencing wire” It means that no matter how hard the task, a bit of elbow grease and determination – not to mention ingenuity – can solve the problem.

But not even Number 8 wire is a match for the guts shown by Johnny Hoogerland on Stage 9 of the Tour de France. In fact, barbed wire fences lining the roads of Europe will be cowering at the thought of Johnny catapulting towards them, laying waste to their pitiful attempts to force him to abandon. #8 wire? Pffft… It’s Rule #5 wire where Johnny’s concerned.

Chapeau Johnny, you are a true hardman of cycling and a deserving winner of the Rule #5 Award. Enjoy a cold one after laying down The V.

Frank’s Take:

How do you single out one rider as ‘the tough guy’ in a race where 200 racers participate in 21 days of racing nearly back-to-back, over the highest mountains in all kinds of weather? How do you single out one rider in a race where a 3-hour 100km Stage raced a bloc over the Telegraph, Galibier, and up l’Alpe d’Huez figures as a “short” stage? How do you pick out one rider in a race lasting more than 86 hours fought out by competitors so tough and closely matched that the time differences are measured in fractions of minutes, not fractions of hours?

How do you pick out one rider when each stage saw riders risk their lives descending at 80kmh (or more) on melting or rain-slick tarmac? How do you pick out one rider when you see a GC contender throw caution to the wind in a do-or-die 60km break over the most difficult climbs in the world in a Hail Mary attempt to win the Tour?  How do you  pick one rider when you see a heroic effort to bring back that same man and singlehandedly drag him within reach? How do you pick out one rider in a race where sprinters won mountain stages and rouleurs fought for the Maillot Verde? How do you pick one rider in a race where the strength of the adversaries defines the quality of the winner?

I’ll tell you how: You pick the guy who catapulted into a rusty barbed-wire fence at 65 kmh because a man driving a car for the media decided his job was more important than that of those doing the racing. You pick a guy who was robbed of the chance to win a stage and go on to defend the Dotty Jumper by a driver who was ordered by race officials to pull over not once, but twice in order to make way for the team cars. You pick the guy who goes on to laugh it off, suggesting the driver didn’t mean him any harm. You pick the guy who did all that and not only finished the stage within the time limit, but managed to take the Polkadot Jersey that day and hold it for a few more. You pick the guy who, after he received dozens of stitches in addition to the damage done when you come off a bicycle at such speeds (it’s not the falling off that is the problem, but the quick stop afterwards that is), went on to finish every other stage and even get into several more breakaways along the way.

Johnny, it’s hardmen like you who make this sport so incredible and remind us that it’s not just the man who stands on top of the podium at the end of the day who is tough. It’s the fact that they beat riders like you, riders who can endure more hardship than most of us can comprehend that makes this such a great sport. You remind us that there is a reason we dub the men who finish the Tour de France Giants of the Road. As a fellow Dutchman, it is my profound pleasure to offer you the well-deserved Rule #5 Award. I hope you allow yourself a beer or two.  Cheers.

// The Hardmen // The Rules

  1. @Dr C
    Hehehe.

  2. That fucker has an actual needle in his hand – mad bastard – should be arrested and chucked in the slammer for a long time

    I was just cheering myself up with a quick look at daisy again and spotted the right hook again from Contador down the page a bit – but on closer inspection, that twat dressed as a surgeon ACTUALLY HAS a needle in his hands – that is so unacceptable – no-one should have to put up with that shit!!!

  3. @Dr C
    I don’t see a needle. I do see a stethoscope though.

  4. @zalamanda

    @ADI disagree. Dodgy Steak is way too soft to be mentioned in the same sentence as Hinault. Le Blaireau would’ve gotten off his bike and cold-clocked him

    He would have gotten off his bike, ripped the guys arm off and then beat the guy with his own arm. Le Blaireau was (is) one tough bastard!!!

  5. @Collin
    By crikey I think you might be right – somewhat less dangerous in that case….

    ….unless he missed a developing pneumonia…..or heart murmur….

    Mmmm. 5 extra interval hills for hysteria DrC

  6. I’m hard pressed to think of three dudes cooler than Cash, Strummer, and Merckx.

  7. @Dr C

    ….unless he missed a developing pneumonia…..or heart murmur….

    In which case it would be malpractice and he deserves a punch anyhow!

  8. @Dr C
    Love the avitar! The fookin’ fightin’ Irish.

    @Collin
    Either way that twat deserved a punch in da faaaace. Good work, Bertie.

  9. @Marko
    Yep.

  10. @Gianni
    why thank you – I actually look like that you know

  11. @Dr C
    The French Actress in those Clio ads was Estelle Skornik, she looked like this.

    Now that you know her name you can see some other photos of her on Google images etc.

  12. I digress. I meant to leave a post here enquiring as to whether or not Johnny ever got back to The Keepers thanking them for his Rule #5 award?

  13. Maybe you’d like this one better, this could be her good side ;)

  14. @all

    Just got a note from Johnny Hoogerland in regards to the Rule #5 Award:

    I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing.

  15. @frank

    @all
    Just got a note from Johnny Hoogerland in regards to the Rule #5 Award:

    I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing.

    No kidding?!?! That’s AWESOME!!! Guy definitely deserved it and seems to be honouring it in the true V fashion. Chapeau.

  16. One word – BITCHIN’!!!

  17. @snoov

    Maybe you’d like this one better, this could be her good side ;)

    btw, since we are back at this thread, this pic deserves a reposting (missed it the first time around). snoov: I do not think that she HAS a bad side!

  18. @frank

    @all
    Just got a note from Johnny Hoogerland in regards to the Rule #5 Award:

    I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing.

    Awesome. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones sending him mail since the TDF but it’s nice that he took the time to respond.

  19. @King Clydesdale

    @frank

    @all
    Just got a note from Johnny Hoogerland in regards to the Rule #5 Award:

    I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing.

    Awesome. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones sending him mail since the TDF but it’s nice that he took the time to respond.

    agreed, and it is another sign of his character that he bothered. Chapeau!

  20. @Buck Rogers

    @snoov

    Maybe you’d like this one better, this could be her good side ;)

    btw, since we are back at this thread, this pic deserves a reposting (missed it the first time around). snoov: I do not think that she HAS a bad side!

    it sure does, as many times as possible

  21. @huffalotpuffalot

    @Buck Rogers

    @snoov

    Maybe you’d like this one better, this could be her good side ;)

    btw, since we are back at this thread, this pic deserves a reposting (missed it the first time around). snoov: I do not think that she HAS a bad side!

    it sure does, as many times as possible

    Couldn’t agree more!

  22. Saw the tweet from Johnny on his acknowledgement of his award. Like my t-shirt says: Welcome to Hoogerland – population: heroes.

    A-Merckx!

  23. 路过看看~写得不错,加油!!

  24. @云南旅游网

    路过看看~写得不错,加油!!

    Welcome.

  25. Unfortunately it appears the curse has struck again…

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/hoogerland-hospitalized-after-training-accident

    talk on the twitters of broken vertebrae & possible liver damage as well as the ribs mentioned in the article.

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