Hennie Kuiper – Winner of the Gold Medal in the Men’s Road Race at the 1975 Worlds
Excerpt from Wikipedia
Hendrikus Andreas “Hennie” Kuiper (born 3 February 1949) is a Dutch former professional road racing cyclist. His career includes a gold medal in the Olympic road race at Munich in 1972, becoming world professional road race champion in 1975, as well as winning four of the five “Monument” classics. He rode the Tour de France 12 times, finishing second twice and winning the stage to Alpe d’Huez on two occasions. Kuiper, Ercole Baldini, and Paolo Bettini are the only riders to have won both the Olympic road race and the world professional road race.
Kuiper was born in Denekamp, in Overijssel province. His serious introduction to the bicycle was to and from school in Enschede. He started participating in junior races from 14 and from 19 to 23 he won 39 times as an amateur. The climax of his amateur career was gold in the Olympic road race in Munich in 1972, riding the final 40 km alone. He also won the Tour of Britain (Milk Race) that year.
Kuiper turned professional in 1973 with the small German team Haro-Rokado. His career took off in 1975 when he signed for the Dutch team, Frisol, where he got more chances to shine and formed a partnership with José De Cauwer (who worked for Kuiper in races) that lasted until 1980. The 1975 season saw Kuiper become world champion at Yvoir in Belgium, winning a tough race over 260 km, with 21 ascents of a 3 km (2 mi) climb.
Kuiper signed for TI–Raleigh in 1976 and finished second in the 1977 Tour de France 48 seconds behind Bernard Thévenet, who later admitted using steroids. Kuiper won the mountain stage at Alpe d’Huez, a feat he repeated in 1978. Kuiper finished fourth in the 1979 Tour and second in 1980 behind Joop Zoetemelk. That second place ended his best years as a stage race rider and in 1981 he moved to DAF Trucks and re-invented himself as a one-day classics rider. 1981 saw him win the Tour of Flanders and the Giro di Lombardia while in 1983 he won Paris–Roubaix at the 11th attempt. In 1985, at 36, he won Milan–San Remo. His retirement came on 6 November 1988 at 39 at a small cyclo-cross at Oldenzaal in his home province.
After retirement Kuiper managed the small German pro squad Team Stuttgart between 1989 and 1990. In 1991 he became head of the Telekom team. In 1992 he was approached by Jim Ochowicz, manager of the American Motorola team, to become assistant team manager. Kuiper stayed with Motorola for four years. Since 1997 he has worked for the Rabobank team in public relations, as well as coaching the Dutch national team on occasions. He has two sons from his first marriage with Ine Nolten: Patrick Kuiper and Bjorn Kuiper. He lives with his second wife, Marianne, in Lonneker.
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