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Johan van der Velde
Personal information
Full name Johan van der Velde
Date of birth December 12, 1956 (1956-12-12) (age 53)
Country  Netherlands
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Infobox last updated on:
June 30, 2008

Johan van der Velde (born December 12, 1956 in Rijsbergen, Noord-Brabant) is a former Dutch cyclist. In the 1980 Tour de France he won the Maillot blanc, or white jersey, for being the best young rider under 25, also placing 12th overall that year. He had been a racing cyclist for only a year. In the 1981 Tour de France he took first place on the second and 21st stages, finishing 12th overall for the second year. He rode with TI-Raleigh in the Tour de France from 1979 to 1983, and Panasonic in 1986.

Contents

Decline

He was distinctive in the peloton for his lean, long-legged appearance, his smooth pedalling style and his long hair. He rode in support of riders such as Joop Zoetemelk, whom he could pace over mountains at impressive speed, but he was also capable of winning on his own. Success came to him early and, he said in an interview with the author Jan Siebelink ("Pijn is genot") that he had trouble coping when that success began to dry up. Van der Velde said he remembered shivering at the start of an Italian race, the skin of his arms wrinkled in goosebumps, because of the amphetamine he had taken just to start.

Addiction to amphetamine and a lifelong habit of petty theft, which he said came from seeing his father bring home things he had stolen from work, brought him into trouble with the law. He was caught stealing lawnmowers and breaking into post office stamp machines to raise money to cover his addiction and his gambling. The jail sentence and the loss of all he had won forced him and his Belgian wife, Josée, to sell the villa they had owned. They moved into a series of anonymous houses and apartments. Van der Velde began hospital treatment for his addiction and became deeply religious. He began work on building sites, rarely saying who he was or what he had been, to rebuild his self-esteem. For many years he tried to keep his address and his identity secret.

Rehabilitation

Van der Velde is now often seen at junior races, where he accompanies his son, also a racer. He took part in a celebrity edition of the Big Brother television series in 1999 and has worked in public relations for the Quickstep team, driving its guests at races.

His manager at Ti-Raleigh, Peter Post, said he had always considered Van der Velde the son that he had never had.

Palmarès

1978
Kellogg's Tour of Britain
Ronde van Nederland
Tour de Romandie
1979
Eeklo
Rijsbergen
Voerendaal
Hansweert
1980
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
Netherlands Dutch National Road Race Championship
Simpelveld
Venhuizen
Tour de France:
Jersey white.svgWinner young rider classification
Linne
's Heerenhoek
Dongen
1981
Huijbergen
Kloosterzande
Mijl van Mares
Tour de France:
Winner stages 3 and 23
Valkenswaard
1982
Acht van Chaam
Bavel
Maastricht
Netherlands Dutch National Road Race Championship
Maarheeze
Linne
Tour de France:
3rd place overall classification
1983
Galder
Zürich-Metzgete
1984
Heerhugowaard
Wanzele
Thorn
1985
Coppa Bernocchi
Giro d'Italia:
Jersey violet.svgWinner Maglia ciclamino (Points Competition)
Kruiningen
Kortenhoef
1986
Brabantse Pijl
Draai van de Kaai
Giro d'Italia:
Winner stage 19
Tour de France:
Winner stage 5
Wearing yellow jersey for two days
Woerden
Galder
1987
Giro d'Italia:
Jersey violet.svgWinner Maglia ciclamino (Points Competition)
Winner stage 15 and 16
Ulvenhout
1988
Oudenbosch
Sas van Gent
Giro d'Italia:
Jersey violet.svgWinner Maglia ciclamino (Points Competition)

See also

External links

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Henk Lubberding
Dutch National Road Race Champion
1980
Succeeded by
Jacques Hanegraaf
Preceded by
Jacques Hanegraaf
Dutch National Road Race Champion
1982
Succeeded by
Jan Raas
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