stage races

1983 Tour de Haut Var - Joop Zoetemelk

by Matthias Van Milders on 18 June 2021
Joop Zoetemelk was 36 years old when he won the Tour de Haut Var for the third time. The Dutchman was no longer a spring chicken, but the 1980 Tour de France winner was still in pretty good shape. The newspapers compared him with a good wine, which only improves with age. The 1983 Tour de Haut Var was still a one-day event. In the descent of the Côte de Mons, Joop Zoetemelk and Stephen Roche broke away from the leading group. When Zoetemelk went on the attack in Seillans, the finishing point, Roche was unable to do anything. It was on 27 February 1983 that Zoetemelk demonstrated his outstanding level of fitness so early on in the season. In the years to come, he would prove that even a veteran cyclist can still excel in this field. At the age of 38, he became the oldest world champion ever at Gaviera de Montello in Italy. And Zoetemelk was even two years older when he won the Amstel Gold Race in 1987.


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