Peter Post: 1933-2011

Peter Post (l) with Tom Simpson (r) after winning the Brussels Six Day in 1965

Peter Post, who was a professional rider from 1956 to 1972, has died. To most cyclists of my generation Post is best remembered as the team director of the Dutch Panasonic team through several different sponsor incarnations. Today’s Rabobank team is directly descended from the Panasonic-Raleigh team Post founded in 1984. Rabobank’s current director, Erik Breukink is but one of many great riders Post guided to success.

It’s the rare rider who wouldn’t prefer to be remembered in their prime, immortalized in a moment of mastery and exhilaration. Though Post raced on both the road and the track, he found his greatest success on the track. He was called “The Emperor of the Six Days” in deference to Rik Van Looy who was known simply as “The Emporer.”

Post’s most significant win was his only victory at a Monument: the 1964 Paris-Roubaix. Completed in record speed, cycling fans sometimes wonder if the victory was tainted by our ever-present scourge. Accounts of the day tell of a howling tailwind, not amphetamines.

Post in the Netherlands in 1971

Post (front) with partner Ferdi Bracke (rear) in 1971

Post at the Gent Six Day in 1971

Images: John Pierce, Photosport International

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  1. todd k

    Tail wind or no, pretty impressive to win Paris Roubaix being primarily a track specialist! Must have been a very different course than what we typically see?

    His victory also made him the first Dutchman to win Paris Roubaix.

  2. Touriste-Routier

    Well there were also less cobbles in that edition than in P-R today, but a win in Roubaix is a win in Roubaix.

    You can’t think of 6-Day riders as trackies. Sure they ride the track, but 6-Day riders put in more saddle time in races than most roadies.

  3. David A

    I was listening to an interview with Eddy Planckaert on a Dutch or Belgian TV program the other day. Ijlo Keisse was also in the interview over what Post had done as both cyclist and director for the sport. Eddy said he basically changed the direction of cycling from the last 100 years. He was strict and could be tyranical at times. He would not allow any facial hair on his riders, they had to sit straight at the dinner table, jerseys and kit both on and off the bike always clean, always had to wear jackets when traveling etc. etc. I remember he once told Alan Pieper, “I know what your problem is, your not as good as you thought you would be” But Post was the one who would spit the winnings with the mechanics, bus drivers, etc. something unheard of before. His teams winnings speak for themselves. Probably demanded the best from the riders because he demanded alot from himself.

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