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What's gone wrong with Dutch cycling

timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
edited April 2010 in Pro race
Reading about Peter Weening in the news for the wrong reasons, a funny fact struck me. He is the last Dutch rider to win a Tour de France stage. 5 years ago with that gnats hair's width lunge against Kloden in 05. Looking at the other important races its even worse (apologies for spelling).

Last Tour victory: Zoetemelk 1980
Last Tour podium: Breukink 1990
Last Tour green jersey: Van Poppel 1987
Last Tour KOM: Theunisse 1989

Last Giro victory: never
Last Giro podium: Breukink 1988
Last Giro stage: Pre 2000
Last Giro ciclamino: Van der Velde 1988
Last Giro KOM: never

Last Vuelta victory: Zoetemelk 1979
Last Vuleta stage: Boom 2009 (hooray!)
Last Vuelta points jersey: Jansen 1968
Last Vuelta mountains jersey: Zoetemelk 1971

Last MSR victory: Kuiper 1985
Last ToF victory: Van der Poel 1986
Last PR victory: Knaven 2001
Last LBL victory Van der Poel 1988
Last ToL victory: Kuiper 1981

Last World Championship victory: Zoetemelk 1985
Last WC podium: Van Bon 1995

And as a bonus prize, last Amstel Gold victory: Dekker 2001

After a golden period in the 1980s they've been rubbish since about 1990 and completely nowhere since about 01. What's gone wrong with Dutch cycling?
It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.

Posts

  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Two suggestions:

    1) more competition. Even the French have been struggling, the sport is no longer the preserve of five European countries, for example even Rabo recruit Menchov and Freire.

    2) One big team: Rabobank have the monopoly on talented riders but they are not good at coaching them. Dutch (and French) riders do very well at U-23 level but struggle to make the jump into the pro ranks. Rabo places too much emphasis on recruiting riders with high VO2 max/lab wattages and not enough on picking the crafty winners.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,664
    How many races have you watched over the past couple of seasons where the tactics of Rabobank have mystified you? Quite a few I'd wager, especially in the classics where quite often they've had a numerical superiority in the front group then ride in a way which ensures none of their riders win.

    The riders must take a share of the blame but their sporting management seem clueless, which is surprising given Erik Dekker's presence as he was a consumate tactician.
  • cspcsp Posts: 777
    With all the international pro teams, can we talk about "dutch cycling" as such? I mean there are dutch riders in different teams and there are dutch teams with non-dutch riders.
  • timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
    By Dutch cycling, I mean Dutch riders. They haven't delivered in a long time.

    Maybe Gesink, Boom and Bos might improve things, but for a traditional cycling nation, their riders aren't delivering the goods.
    It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,457
    Kléber wrote:

    1) more competition. Even the French have been struggling, the sport is no longer the preserve of five European countries, for example even Rabo recruit Menchov and Freire.

    I think this is the main reason. It's not just the Dutch. France has been in decline for at least a decade (but may be ready for a revival), Belgium only really has three star names (and that's being generous to One-Race Devolder) and Italy now only has two big international teams, one of which is in disarray. Only Spain has bucked the trend, and even they may find that Contador is the last of their 'golden generation'.

    The 'big five' nations had the sport sewn up from eighty years with the occasional Gaul, Koblet, Altig or Simpson more of an oddity than a threat.

    Imagine if you went back to 1980 and said:
    "In thirty years time the Tour winner will ride for a team from Kazakhstan, the Giro will be won by a Russian, the World Champion will be Australian, a Swiss will dominate the classics, a Brit and a Norweigan will fight over the Green Jersey, an East German will have the most wins and the number one team will be one of three American teams and the most famous cyclist is an American too".

    They would think you were mad. Back then, there was really only Sean Kelly as an outsider of note. Even Spain's status as top nation would be barely credible.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Applied to my beloved French

    Last Tour victory: Hinault 1985
    Last Tour podium: Richard Virenque 1997
    Last Tour green jersey: Laurent Jalabert 1995
    Last Tour KOM: Richard Virenque 2004

    Last Giro victory:Laurent Fignon 1989
    Last Giro podium: Charley Mottet 1990
    Last Giro stage: Christophe Le Mevel 2005
    Last Giro ciclamino: Laurent Jalabert 1999
    Last Giro KOM: Laurent Fignon 1084

    Last Vuelta victory: Laurent Jalabert 1995
    Last Vuleta stage: David Moncoutie 2009
    Last Vuelta points jersey: Laurent Jalabert 1997
    Last Vuelta mountains jersey: David Moncoutie 2009

    Last MSR victory: Laurent Jalabert 1995
    Last ToF victory: Jacky Durand 1992
    Last PR victory: Frederic Guesdon 1997
    Last LBL victory Bernard Hinault 1980!
    Last ToL victory: Laurent Jalabert 1997

    Last World Championship victory: Laurent Brochard 1997
    Last WC podium: Anthony Geslin 2005

    What that shows us is that clearly you have to be called Laurent to do well!
  • BernardusBernardus Posts: 136
    I wouldn't classify the Netherlands as a traditional cycling nation. We basically entered the sport the same way as the Anglophone world is doing nowadays, via the Tour de France. Some riders started doing well in the Tour in the 50s and 60s, cycling as a sport grew a lot, but i never reached the size of sports like football, speed skating, field hockey etc.

    A country like Switzerland, with a much larger cycling tradition (cycling as a sport, not as a method of transportation), is completely based around Cancellara. The Belgians really like the classics, they adore them. But even during the Tour of Flanders the commentators were wondering: "where is our next Tour de France champion". A thing the French have been wondering about too.

    Many cycling fans in the Netherlands were expecting this year to be somewhat of a turning point, but so far it has been disappointing. I am still pretty positive about the future, but it'll never be as successful as the early 80s. Unless Boom really is the next Hennie Kuiper.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,768 Lives Here
    In fairness, in the late '90s and early '00s, Boogerd was cleary good enough for some mega 1 day wins.


    Just he got an allergic reaction to it whenever he did, so he always came 2nd....
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Interesting. Good point to look up.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    And it can only be a matter of time before the Chinese and the far eastern nations produce a rider capable of winning a GT.
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,350
    Tusher wrote:
    And it can only be a matter of time before the Chinese and the far eastern nations produce a rider capable of winning a GT.

    Closely followed by the East Africans.
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,350
    Tusher wrote:
    And it can only be a matter of time before the Chinese and the far eastern nations produce a rider capable of winning a GT.

    Closely followed by the East Africans.
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