Comments welcome

Sunday, 6 March 2011

De Rooij

When I wrote the piece for Bicycling, I put a copy of it here on The Inner Ring too. I included a quote from Dutch rider Theo De Rooij who described the misery of riding Paris-Roubaix… but he’d jump at the chance to come back the following year and do it again. 25 years ago the rider summed up something unique about the sport.

To my great surprise and delight Theo De Rooij himself dropped by to leave a comment:

For a European rider like me at the time I was startled that my quotes became legendary. I mean, it is all about the winner, who cares about a guy who ends up in the broom wagon, looking and smelling like s… (bleep)? John Tesh did and it seems he is a big star in the USA. Even after so many years it is always nice to read these words. I can assure you that crossing the stretch of Wallers-Arenberg as the first rider of the race, as I did in 1985 and 1987, without feeling a single stone because you are in a flow, is one of the most exiting experiences a rider can have.

I’m really enjoying all the comments on here. I’ll admit I was at first wary of even allowing comments as they could be host to spam, or worse, aggressive, argumentative and even libellous rantings. But so far, they’re a joy to read and it’s always good to see the feedback, debate or additional information they generate.

Note that whilst the comments section asks for a name, email and website, you are free to post with just a name, the email and website fields are not compulsory.

Reno March 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I have no comment on this subject, Matt. What part of ‘no comment’ you don’t understand?

That is to be read with tongue in cheeck, of course ;) I frequent the blog regularly and it’s been as much fun and as informative for me to read than for you to write, I guess. Articles are well balanced. Both pros and contras are given on subjects and that’s how journalism should be. Keep it up!

ant1 March 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Theo De Rooij commenting was pretty awesome. it says something about the quality of the material here. keep it up.

Geoffrey March 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I’ve actually been quite thankful I’m not a pro, lack of strength notwithstanding. My mom is a great cook, and we would ask her why she didn’t ever do catering. That wouldn’t be fun anymore for her. Making one’s hobby his job makes it lose some appeal, because, as you said, the mortgage depends on it.

I can’t imagine trying to schedule a vacation in the summer months. Do they all ski with their kids?

Starr March 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I agree, the content here is worth comments.
Thanks Theo for contributing.
Love to hear stories from the old-school classics riders.

Tom March 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

In late 2006 I had the opportunity to have an interview on cycling with Theo de Rooij who was director of the Rabobank Cyclingteams at the time. Working on an internship assignment for TNO we met at a sports symposium in Eindhoven. I can still remember the details of the conversation as it was very valuable for the assignment and as example in general.

In my job and study I have come across a lot of professional and semi-pro athletes and the thing consistent performers have in common is their focus on the job at hand and the cool with which they handle everything around it. I still find the amount of focus and “cool” he had while not racing as a professional for 26 years awe-inspiring. He’s a solid example for a lot of young people in racing today.

Theo, if you’re reading this, thanks for the lessons learned that day!

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