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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Cycling News Flash for November 3, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Knetemann dead at 53

Gerrie Knetemann, RIP
Photo ©: Dick Soepenberg

Dutch cycling legend Gerrie Knetemann has died, aged 53, on Tuesday afternoon, November 2. The ex-World Champion and national coach of the Dutch road team was riding his mountain bike with three friends in Bergen when he stopped to fix his chain, which had fallen off. While he was fixing it, his heart stopped. The exact cause of his death is unknown.

Nicknamed 'De Kneet', Knetemann's professional career began in 1973, and during it he won the World Championships, Amstel Gold Race (twice), 10 stages in the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Tour of the Netherlands (4 times) and Tour Méditerranéen (3 times). He retired in 1989.

Dutch federation (KNWU) president Joop Atsma commented about Knetemann that, "He was a unique sportsman and a model for everybody."

For Michael Boogerd, on holidays in the Canary Islands, it was a big shock. "Much too young, and then knowing he left a wife and three younger children," said Boogerd.

Steven de Jongh said, "I'm proud that Gerrie was my coach. He was as classic rider, a big role model."

Erik Breukink's reaction: "Knetemann was an open book. He could make one complete Dutch team. And that's a great performance."

Major wins

World road championship (1978)
Amstel Gold Race (1974, 1985)
10 stages in Tour de France (1975-1982)
7 team time trials in the Tour de France (1978-1981)
8 days in the yellow jersey (1979-1981)
Paris-Nice (1978)
Tour of the Netherlands (1976, 1980, 1981, 1986)
Tour of the Mediterranean (1978, 1980, 1983)
Tour of Belgium (1980)
Four Days of Dunkirk (1977)
Three Days of de Panne (1982)

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