Wim van Est

Willem " Wim " van Est ( born March 25, 1923 in Fijnaart, today Moerdijk, † 1 May 2003 in Roosendaal ) was a Dutch cyclist. It was 1951, the first Dutchman to 1951, the Yellow and the Giro d' Italia in 1953 conquered the pink jersey at the Tour de France.

Sporting beginnings

Wim van Est was from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, one of the most successful and versatile at the same time cyclists of the Netherlands. Before he started cycling as an amateur in 1946, he smuggled tobacco by bicycle and had to serve a prison sentence. He had five siblings; two brothers, Piet and Nico were also racers.

Crash at the Tour de France 1951

1949 van Est was professional. His first big success was in 1950 winning the race Bordeaux - Paris, which he managed to repeat in 1952 and 1961. In 1951 he was a member of the Dutch National Team that participated in the Tour de France. On the 12th stage together with a small group he had a breakaway, which earned him the yellow jersey. The following day - in the 13th stage - he crashed in the descent of the Col d' Aubisque, in his own words because of a flat tire in a 70 meter deep gorge.

Viewers and supervisors hid Wim van Est with the help of 40 bicycle tubes, the sports director Kees Pellenaars had let tie together; the injured driver initially wanted to continue and had to be persuaded to go to a hospital. Legendary was the utterance of his teammate Gerard Peters, dry noticed the face of ousted wearer of the yellow jersey in the canyon: "Het is een net boterbloem. " (Dutch = " It's just a buttercup. "). The team announced after the accident on the race.

After his return to the Netherlands Wim van Est used his popularity he had gained by this spectacular fall, for an advertising campaign for the bicycle brand " Pontiac ", with the wheels, the Dutch team was equipped with the slogan: " Zeventig meter much ik diep, mijn hard stond style, maar mijn Pontiac liep ... " ( holl = 70 meters I fell deeply, my heart stood still, but my Pontiac ran ..."). The heavily damaged by accident bike is now the bicycle museum " Velorama " seen in Nijmegen. Overall, van Est took part in the Tour seven times; when he was not nominated in 1956 by Pellenaars, there were angry protests from fans.

Other successes

1953 Wim van Est was again the first Dutchman who wore the pink jersey at the Giro d' Italia. Four times he took part in the Giro and the Vuelta a España three times, but could not in the overall rankings place the front. In 1953 he won the Tour of Flanders, in 1952 and 1954, the Netherlands - tour and in 1953 and 1955, the eight- van Chaam.

Van Est was also a successful driver on the track. Four times he was Dutch champion in the individual pursuit and three times he was in this discipline at UCI Track World Championships on the podium.


In 1958 Wim van Est, together with his racing colleagues Wout Wagtmans a song titled "Tour de France " to record on. 2001, the 50th anniversary of his fall in the Tour de France, a monument in his honor was in his hometown Sint Willibrord - revealed in a street that is named after him.