Awesome Dutch Guys: Erik Breukink

Awesome Dutch Guys: Erik Breukink

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Erik Breukink, pictured here on the far right in the 1987 Giro, was on the upswing of what seemed to be very bright future. From a young age, he appeared to be a natural Grand Tour rider, so the Dutch teams he perpetually rode for did what Dutch teams do best, which is heap loads of pressure on an ill-prepared mind, micro-manage the snot out of him, and use a horse blanket to snuf out any remaining embers of potential. To be fair, though, this model is not solely the domain of the Dutch; the Italians, French, and Belgians are all quite adept at this particular talent development technique.

Erik faired better than most Dutch prodigies have since the 80’s; he managed to podium in two Grand Tours – 2nd to Hampsten in the ’88 Giro and 3rd to LeMond in the ’90 Tour – in addition to winning a handful of stages along the way. But more than anything, what distinguishes Breukink from a promising modern rider like Gesink was his ability to keep from falling off and breaking things at critical times.

Erik hit his peak around 1990 when, were it not for a bad day on the slopes of Luz Ardiden, he might have been fighting for the Tour de France win instead of flustering about to get hold of the podium.

Admittedly, this sounds like a suspect track record to qualify as an Awesome Dutch Guy. For the most part, we Dutch hold ourselves to a higher standard of Awesome than getting a few podium spots. Well, sometimes Awesome is more than just your results. Awesome comes without ribbons, it comes without tags, it comes without packages, boxes, or bags. Awesome, it seems, is a little bit more, like wearing a shit-eatin’ grin that can be spotted from the Moon while everyone else in the bunch is being squeegeed through the vents of the hurt locker at the legs of the balding Pedro Muños who is doing a fantastic job demonstrating the Two-Eyed V-Squint.

That, my fellow Velominati, is what Awesome is all about. Case closed.

// Anatomy of a Photo // Awesome Dutch Guys // Nostalgia

  1. Who’s the Panasonic rider pictured on the far right?

  2. Not sure but do I detect the Robert Millar honk just behind him?

  3. @unversio

    Who’s the Panasonic rider pictured on the far right?

    My dyslexia got the better of me; Breukink is the rider on the right, not the left, with the smirk.

  4. ADG… Love the new acronym, as well as your description of the Netherlands Talent Development Programme.  @Frank, are you aiming to be an ADG when you grow up?  Like that day will ever happen (thank god)

  5. @frank I love this post.  No idea who this guy was, but you have brought him to life for me.

  6. Sweet, an ADG and an AnatOP, all in one post!  Brilliant!

  7. That’s some fine company EB’s in. Can’t remember the Fagor guy’s name (I think it’s Jean Claude Bagot), but you’ve got Roberrt Millar in the climber’s green jersey, Marino Lejaretta in the Caja Rural jersey, and ? in the Del Tongo and ? in the white jersey for best young rider. I’ll do some research this weekend.

  8. Total reverence for the low-profile MAVIC GP-4s. I raced on a set last season and will continue on them.

  9. @frank

    @unversio

    Who’s the Panasonic rider pictured on the far right?

    My dyslexia got the better of me; Breukink is the rider on the right, not the left, with the smirk.

    I was making a nod to the article posts that followed THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLIPLESS PEDAL (mystery Panasonic guy), but I’m glad that you caught the correction.

  10. Glad to see this series back.  It’s been too long since the last one of these although “Awesome Dutch” is a bit redundant isn’t it?  Let’s not forget it was Breukink who actually won the famous stage over the Gavia in 1988.

  11. @unversio

  12. Bruekink, the Snot King!  Man, I loved that guy but he always seemed to have a river of snot running off his face.

  13. Unrelated, Awesome Dutch Floating BIke Roundabouts:

    http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/spectacular-new-floating-cycle-roundabout/

  14. The White Jersey is Toni Rominger and the Del Tongo guy is Silvano Contini.

    I could never warm to Breukink for exactly the reason @Buck Rogers mentions – like some sort of spaz he always had snot smeared all over his face wtf.

  15. @Oli snot and “like some sort of spaz” ain’t cool. Its proper KWC-speak. U r better than that.

  16. @Marcus No I’m not!

    That’s honestly what I always thought about him…it’s not rational perhaps, but when did rationality ever come into liking or disliking riders around here? If the word spaz offends I apologise and will substitute unco instead. I just can’t be dealing with snotty cunts.

  17. @frank

    “…the balding Pedro Muños who is doing a fantastic job demonstrating the Two-Eyed V-Squint.”

  18. @Oli yeah – its just the spaz bit. But I am an offensive cunt so I can’t complain too much.

  19. @Buck Rogers@Oli

    I was just looking for pictures of him winning the Lac de Vassivière ITT in 1990 where he had the Twin River running down his face. But this photo turned up in the google search instead and I felt compelled to post it.

  20. Breukink in TT mode – a beautiful sight if you can manage not to see his face. Man, I loved that era of funny bike with the 650c front wheel, cowhorn handlebars, and aerobars. Ultimate cool.

    And don’t even get me started on that aero Record seat pin and Rolls saddle.

  21. Breukink and Jan Gispers in the totally awesome beer-coozie insulation winter jerseys and badass super-high head bands. Rad.

  22. @frank

    @Buck Rogers@Oli

    I was just looking for pictures of him winning the Lac de Vassivière ITT in 1990 where he had the Twin River running down his face. But this photo turned up in the google search instead and I felt compelled to post it.

    Must have been difficult with flippers – chapeau

  23. If you say: ”Breukink”, I think: ”Power”.

  24. @frank

    Breukink and Jan Gispers in the totally awesome beer-coozie insulation winter jerseys and badass super-high head bands. Rad.

    Just had to put this up again

  25. @frank

    @Buck Rogers@Oli

    I was just looking for pictures of him winning the Lac de Vassivière ITT in 1990 where he had the Twin River running down his face. But this photo turned up in the google search instead and I felt compelled to post it.

    oh Jesus!  Sure, blame me for another dirty Schleck love photo op!

  26. Woah, I have one of those older winter jacket/jerseys, picked up used as they were well before my time, and I never thought of them as “beer coozie insulation” but that’s exactly what they are! Awesome.

    And yeah, that smirk Erik is wearing in the lead photos is great.

    On the floating bike island – there appears to be trucks on the bike path, huh? So multi-use/shared or what?

  27. the trucks are there doing either maintenance or cleaning (as a street sweeper). Bike paths in the Netherlands are definitely _not_ multi use except if you consider mopeds multi. in Amsterdam those little Vespa cars (italian) can use bike paths, but they’re no bigger than a bike.

  28. Breukink was also an expert analyst and commentator on Dutch TV for the main cycling races. Better in my opinion than another ex pro, Maarten Ducrot, who raced for Kwantum and TVM.

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