Wim van Est



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Benjo Maso

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Wim van East was without any doubt one of most significant the figurs of the history of Dutch
cycling. Up to 1951 in Holland almost nobody was interested in the Tour. Only two or three
newspapers took the trouble to send a journalist to France. But all changed after Van Est has
comquered the yellow jersey in Dax (it first time it happened to a Dutch rider) and lost it next day
after after the most spectacular fall of the history of the Tour. Van Est was not particularly
gifted, but he was incredibly hard and courageous and it had the mentality of a true champion..Son
palmarès is not very rich, but he had the bad luck of being Dutch in a time when cycling in Holland
was still underdeveloped. Because of that, his team managers always preferred a Belgian or French
winner and obliged Van Est to sacrifice his own chances. Significantly, he won the Tour of Flandres
only becaus ehis sponsor (Garin), om the brink of bankruptcy, hadn't paid his wages forn several
month. and Bordeaux-Paris 1961 because he refused an offer of Bobet, who selsom kept his promises. I
have met Van Est a couple of times and one day I went at his home to interview him. His wife died a
couplke of years before and he was happy to have company. I remained for almost ten hours. He even
prepared dinner for
me. It was awful, but of course that didn't matter at all. Van Est cooking dinner for me! It was
like dreaming! During the ten hours he told me all its life, even about his career as a smuggler
and the months he spent in prison. He also told me everythimg about all the races he had sold
(like Bordeaux-Paris 1953 to Kübler) or for how much momey he had helped other champioms to win.
He told me which riders were generous and always kept their promises (Coppi, Koblet, Van
Steenbergen, Anquetil) and which were the `bad dogs'who couldn't be trusted (Kübler, Peter Post,
Bobet, Anglade). Because he still had many the friends in the cycling world he also told me much
about cycling in more recent times (how much francs Van der Poel had paid Kelly to wim the Tour
of Flandres) and why everyone was angry with Knetemann after the world championship of the world
of 1978.(not so much because Knetemann had accepted the offer of Moser, but sprinted anyway, but
in the first place because Moser had promised enormous sums to De Vlaminck, Hinault, etc if he
became champion, and now they do not receive a penny). In any case, in one day I learned more
from cycling than in the ten years before. After that lenghty session I have seen him twice and
from to time and I telephoned him. Unfortunately, like so many old people living alone, his
health deteriorated raher quickly, and the last time I tried to see him, about a year ago, it
was already to late. May he rest in peace.

Benjo Maso
 
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Bart

Guest
Thanks !

Wasn't it last year he visited the site of his fall with the rider who had seen him go down ? I
remember he was very affected.
 
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Benjo Maso

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"Bart" <[email protected]ra.be> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thanks !
>
> Wasn't it last year he visited the site of his fall with the rider who had seen him go down ? I
> remember he was very affected.

It was two years ago. Yes, he tears in eyes. But I'm afraid it was more a sign of senility than
genuine emotion. I found it very painful to see.In his prime he had a very forceful personality and
there was almost nothing left of it. And yet Rini Wagtmans (who saw him every day) said it was one
of his better days.

Benjo Maso
 
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Ewoud Dronkert

Guest
On Sun, 04 May 2003 21:08:41 GMT, Bart wrote:
>Thanks !

Yeah great, thanks.

>Wasn't it last year he visited the site of his fall with the rider who had seen him go down ? I
>remember he was very affected.

See it again: http://info.omroep.nl/vara?nav=rgvhFsHzGHEkCwGrGvC rm (2 formats) and wm (95
Kbits/sec, awful quality), links at the bottom of the page.
 
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