LEIDEN Netherlands- Cycling icon Gerben Karstens passed away this Saturday. The Leiden former cyclist, who was active in the 60s and 70s, lived to be 80 years old. Karstens had a stroke a few weeks ago.
Gerben Karstens, who was known to many people as ‘the clown’ among cyclists, wrote six stages in the Tour de France and not only won fourteen stages in the Tour of Spain. He also took the victory in the Giro d’Italia. He won as an amateur together with Evert Dolman, Jan Pieterse and Bart Zoet the gold medal at the Olympic Games of 1964 in the 100 kilometer team time trial. Born in Voorburg, the notary’s son was a recognised sprinter.
On July 18, 1976, the Leiden resident was the first Dutchman to win the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. Two years earlier, the much-loved professional was allowed to wear the yellow jersey for two stages. By then he had already made a name for himself in the pack. Born in Voorburg, the notary’s son won the gold medal as an amateur together with Evert Dolman, Jan Pieterse and Bart Zoet at the 1964 Olympic Games in the 100 kilometer team time trial.
‘De Karst’ was not only famous for its excellent cycling performance. His jokes also attracted attention. He once escaped and then hid in the bushes. As the peloton searched diligently for the escaped rider, he had secretly rejoined the large group. It made him loved. After his career, the cycling fun pants left cycling to work in a bicycle shop. Later he sailed around the world, and then lost his heart to golf. Karstens had a stroke a few weeks ago and died today, Saturday (8th Oct) in Dongen (North Brabant NL).
His biggest results (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Milaan-San Remo 2e (1970)
Gent-Wevelgem 3e (1971)
Ronde van Vlaanderen 6e (1975)
Parijs-Roubaix 9e (1970)
Amstel Gold Race 2e (1971)
Luik-Bastenaken-Luik 11e (1971)
Ronde van Lombardije 2e (1965)
Ronde van Italië 1 stage
Ronde van Frankrijk 6 stages
Ronde van Spanje 14 stages
WK op de weg 9e (1969)