All hail Niki Terpstra, the most Belgian man ever to have failed to be from Belgium

Niki Terpstra in the Tour of Flanders (via YouTube)
Niki Terpstra in the Tour of Flanders (via YouTube)

Niki Terpstra’s top result in a Grand Tour is 94th in the 2014 Tour de France. He also finished 95th in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana.

Here are all of Niki Terpstra’s other Grand Tour results, in ascending order:

  • 152nd in the 2009 Tour de France
  • 149th in the 2013 Tour de France
  • 142nd in the 2007 Vuelta a Espana
  • 139th in the 2016 Vuelta a Espana
  • 136th in the 2008 Tour de France
  • 134th in the 2011 Tour de France
  • 130th in the 2017 Vuelta a Espana
  • 127th in the 2012 Tour de France

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking maybe give the Giro d’Italia a go at some point, Niki.

Let me tell you that Niki Terpstra is never going to race the Giro d’Italia. The reason why Niki Terpstra is never going to race the Giro d’Italia is because it takes place in May, and in May Niki Terpstra is very tired.

It’s safe to say that three-week races aren’t Terpstra’s forté. He likes one-day races, in Belgium, over cobbles, in the spring.

“I call it real racing,” he said after winning this year’s Tour of Flanders.

This is how Niki Terpstra celebrates winning the Tour of Flanders.

Niki Terpstra celebrates (via YouTube)
Niki Terpstra celebrates (via YouTube)

While that is almost certainly Champagne in his hand, you will see that on the table everyone has a Duvel. There was a better screengrab I could have taken from a second later when there were even more Duvels in shot, but life is short, so I’m just going to tell you about it instead and you’ll just have to trust me.

Duvel is a very Belgian beer. Celebrating winning a bike race with a Duvel is a very Belgian thing to do and no race is more Belgian than the Tour of Flanders. Furthermore, nothing is more Belgian than bike racing, particularly at this time of year.

Earlier in the week Terpstra had warmed up for the Tour of Flanders by winning E3-Harelbeke, which is probably the equal second most Belgian bike race.

This is the top five:

  1. The Tour of Flanders
  2. E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem
  3. Three Days of De Panne (which is now, quite magnificently, just one day long now)
  4. Any other cobbled race that takes place in Flanders
  5. Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Basically, Flanders is more Belgian than Belgium. That’s the point I’m making.

Now here’s a much shorter list of extremely Belgian bike races that nevertheless actually take place outside Belgium.

  1. Paris-Roubaix

You will not be at all surprised when I say that Niki Terpstra won Paris-Roubaix in 2014.

It is hard to imagine a man being any more Belgian than Niki Terpstra, which is quite a feat when you consider that he is Dutch. While Dutch is just about as Belgian as a man can be without actually being from Belgium, it is nevertheless technically classified as ‘not Belgian’.

I put it to you that no non-Belgian has ever been more Belgian than Niki Terpstra.

What’s next?

Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. Paris-Roubaix is a very fun and brutal race. The winner gets a giant cobblestone.


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