Joop Zoetemelk

Joop Zoetemelk (born 3 December 1946 in Rijpwetering, community Alkemade near Leiden; civil Hendrik Gerardus Joseph Zoetemelk ) is the most successful Dutch cyclist and was one of the best cyclists in the 1970s and 1980s. He won the Tour de France 1980.


Zoetemelk, 1968 gold medalist in the 100 -km team time trial at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, began his professional career in 1970 and reached already in the same year the second place at the Tour de France. It should be a total of six second overall rankings for the heaviest bicycle race in the world ( 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982). Overall, he started there 16 times and still not reach the destination in Paris. He is the sole record participants of the Tour de France. Zoetemelk contributed to 22 days the yellow jersey and won a total of ten stages. That he did not reach as a tour victory was due not least to the two all-powerful competitors Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault, who had his nose in front in five of his six second places.

In addition to the Tour de France, he was also the 1979 Vuelta a España win. But not only the major tours, also with shorter stage races and the classics he had some success. So Zoetemelk won Paris-Nice ( 1974, 1975, 1979), Paris -Tours (1977, 1979) and the Amstel Gold Race ( 1987). A big surprise was winning the Road World Championships in 1985 at the age of 38 years.

Zoetemelk in 1977, 1979 and 1983 tested positive for doping agents in the Tour de France and 1983 known to have used at the annual preparation nandrolone.