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A buddy of mine works for Rabobank and got me a pass to the Rabo VIP tent for the finish of the Pasadena stage. I have met and ridden with many pros over the years but meeting Henni brought out the inner bike geek in me.

When I was a kid, just starting to follow the sport, Henni was winning some huge races, Paris-Roubaix, Flanders, Alp d'Huez(twice), Lombardia. When was the last time a rider won Paris-Roubaix and was on the Podium of the Tour? He also was also the guy who brought my employer into team sponsorship and was a DS for Motorola for much of the 90's.

Above all he is a super cool guy. Loved talking about racing and had endless stories about losing races. Funny, a guy who has won the biggest races in the sport and he just wanted talk about how he bonked in the final TT and lost the podium of the Vuelta. After telling me some cool stories he got up in front of the tent and explained some the tactics of that days race.
 

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Hennie represents all that is good about the history of the sport. I was lucky to attend a breakfast that included video of his win on Alpe D'Huez in 77 I believe. Really great stuff with his commentary on what was happening. We left the breakfast and in the car on the way to the TT had a big discussion about gears back in that era. I saw him in the tent and went over to ask about his gearing that day on the Alpe. His face lights up and he begins to tell me about the 42x 23 and the cols they rode before the Alpe. This is everything I love about our sport- no wonder he is a hero in Holland- wow what a great experience.
Cheers,
Bill
 

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man I'm jealous. need to get out there next year. Hennie Kuiper is the real deal, a true hardman from the old school.

I caught an interview they did with him, Frankie Andreu and the other guy, on the ToC web coverage. Hennie was Postal's DS for a while.
 

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Creaky,
Believe it was Motorola but definately early in LA's carreer- funny story, I was introduced to him 2 years ago and did not know his stature in the sport. We start talking about the Tour De france and the magic of Alpe D'Hueuz what a special place it is etc.-I then ask him if he ever rode it in a stage- and he very nonchalantly tells me one of the hairpins is named for him and that he won on the alpe twice- just then Pat McQuaid walks up , gives Hennie a hug and i get introduced to him like a long time friend. Hennie is a true gentlemen and represents the sport and Rabobank in a manner I find missing from many other athletes- I guess I am old school and Hennie represents the traditions of bike racing that I love. Drop me a line next year if you decide to come out, I had others fly in for the race this year and we had a blast.
Cheers,
Bill
 
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