The first edition of the TOUR de JUNIOR Achterveld in 1958
The TOUR de JUNIOR is an international youth cycling festival. In 6 days and 9 stages, Criteriums, Omlopen, a Classic, 2 uphill time trials and 1 flat time trial, there is a battle for honorary prizes. Participation is open to boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 16. Participants will be randomly assigned to teams that are sponsored by loca/ regional companies.
Back in Time
All in all, the TOUR de JUNIOR is the oldest youth cycling event in the Netherlands and perhaps in Europe, with foreign participation as early as 1962. For many years HRH Prince Bernhard presented a medal of honor to the strongest Dutch participant. The KNWU gives a cup to the most combative participant. In January 2002 the Tour de Junior received the prestigious KNWU Shimano 2001 Award from former participant Hennie Kuiper. The TOUR de JUNIOR is a non-profit organization and does not depend on subsidies. All races are held according to the regulations of the Royal Dutch Cycling Union.
The association, which was founded in 1958, became a foundation in 1989, which is affiliated with the KNWU. The uniqueness of the event is partly due to the fact that most of the approximately 125 participants are accommodated during the entire week in the village with the local population, on the local campsites but also with the many adoptive families, which means that that the whole village sympathises with the participants during this amazing cycling week every year.
The organisation consists of a very close-knit team of which most employees (about 40 ladies and gentlemen) have been volunteering for decades.
In addition to the permanent employees, there are also about 30 first aiders and about 5 people from the police on standby, while the help of the parents of riders and the supervisors is also indispensable. During the races, the riders are accompanied by about ten motorcyclists.
In the past 49 years there have been only four tour leaders, namely:
In 2007, a new structure was chosen with regard to the organisation. The chairman of the foundation is no longer the tour president. The function of tour president will be adjusted and given the name tour coordinator.
This will be the point of contact during the tour week for the employees and the riders.
Participation is possible for categories 5 (12 year olds), 6 (13 year olds), 7 (14 year olds), novices (15 and 16 year olds) and novice girls. The competition is for the white jersey (fastest cat. 5), yellow jerseys (fastest time), green jerseys (points in intermediate sprints) and pink jerseys (fastest girls, newbie girls). There is also a polka dot jersey for the fastest in each category in both mountain time trials.
The Tour Programme
In this multi-day event, the participants learn all facets of a real stage race. The program includes criteriums, 3 individual time trials of which an uphill, round and a real classic. There are even two parts to cycle in three days. In the morning a time trial and in the evening a criterium or a round. All these parts demand the utmost of the youth. One learns to divide strengths and develops insight into tour direction. The local youth also get their money’s worth with a real mini tour on Wednesday morning.
The processing of the results has been done by computer since 1982, so that the results and the total classifications are known every day within approximately ½ hour after the end of the competitions. In 1992, the outbound processing was further automated. A very advanced video recorder is also used to prepare the ride results, so that no participant is missed. In the autumn of 1999, an internet site was built for the organization on which all results and classifications of all categories, plus photos of the tributes and other atmospheric images can be found during the event, within an hour after the last finish. Since 2011, a more advanced time registration system MYLaps has been used, which is also used in Formula 1. It works with transponders on the bicycle and provides extremely reliable time recording data. The internet address is: www.tourdejunior.nl
Renowned participants from the past include Leo Duijndam, Matthijs de Koning, Hennie Kuiper, Herman Snoeyink, Han Vaanhold, Arnold Voogt, Kees van de Wereld, Frank van Bakel, Johnny Broers, Hennie Stamsnijder, Sjaak Pieters, Corne Kokke, Petra de Bruin, Rob Harmeling, Volker Diehl (Germany), Danielle Overgaag, Erik Dekker (a.o. winner of the 2001 World Cup), Michael Boogerd Johan Bruinsma, Michel Zanoli, Remco Startman, Niels van der Steen, Remco van der Ven, Vincent van der Kooy , Fulco van Gulik (LOTTO-ADECCO), Kor Steenbergen, Niels Scheuneman (vice world champion in Lisbon 2001), Dylan van Baarle and Nicole Cooke (GBr) (triple world champion junior ladies. Also take a look at the tour winners page: winners of the Tour de Junior
Also this year a visit to the cozy Tour village Achterveld is definitely worth it. During the matches (also during the classic) there is live report from the match. A fair is also held on Wednesday evenings.