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Theo de Rooij – One of the World’s Best Pro Riders and Directeur Sportifs

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He had a stellar amateur career in a Golden Era for Netherlands Cycling; rode for four of the sport’s most famous teams – IJsboerke, Capri Sonne, Raleigh and Panasonic; was a highly successful team manager and is still deeply involved with the sport he loves.

VeloVeritas is delighted to be able to bring you the thoughts of Mr. Theo de Rooij.

Theo De Rooij
Theo de Rooij.

Many thanks for speaking to us, Theo – was it winning the Tour of North Holland in 1979 which gained you your contract with IJsboerke?

“In fact 1978 was my best amateur season ever and I had several offers from top pro teams. In 1979 however, I had to finish my business school and get my degree so it was not until 1980 I could pass to being pro.

“In 1979 I won 12 races; I won the Tour of North Holland (three day stage race), the first stage and three days yellow in the Tour of East Germany (DDR) and was 2nd in the National road championship.

“The interest of Pro Teams was less massive than the year before but I got my degree!

“Then I signed for IJsboerke but in fact the Dutch bicycle brand KOGA Miyata, and co-sponsor of the IJsboerke Team, was my employer.

“In August that year Peter Winnen also signed for KOGA/IJsboerke.”