TEAM MANAGERS PETER POST AND JAN RAAS BURY HATCHET

20 January 2020 By Wijtze De Groot History

TI RALEIGH SPLITS

Peter Post rode for the cycling team TI-Raleigh. In the early 1980s, this former Dutch cycling team won almost everything there was to win. Team leader Jan Raas had a large share in the many successes. At the end of 1983, the main sponsor left the team, causing TI-Raleigh to fall apart. That’s when two camps emerged. Raas launched his own cycling team together with former teammates, called Buckler. Post was not part of this fresh cycling team, but took over as team leader of Panasonic.

Did this mean a victory for Dutch cycling? Certainly not! It ended up being an outright blunder. Both teams lost on several occasions. As long as the other did not take the win, it was fine for both teams. The feud between the two cycling teams reached its lowest point during the Tour de France of 1992.

POST AND RAAS, FROM COOPERATION TO OPPOSITION

It all happened during the 17th stage of the Tour, when Frenchman Jean-Claude Colotti, Belgian Marc Sergeant and Dutchman Frans Maassen started an offensive. Actually, there is nothing special about this, unless you know that Sergeant belonged to Post's Panasonic team and Maassen rode in the service of Raas' Buckler team. This was bound to lead to a tussle between the rivals. The three riders' offensive went well for a long time, until Panasonic team leader De Rooij joined the fray. Sergeant had to keep his legs still, because his teammate Guy Nulens had started a pointless counterattack at 6 to 7 minutes from the stage leaders. Sergeant initially refused to keep his legs still, until De Rooij changed his mind with some harsh threats. "If you don't stop riding, I'll personally make sure you land off the track!" Sergeant was forced to follow the orders of Panasonic's team leader.

Buckler team manager Hilaire Vanderschueren saw everything happen and intervened just like De Rooij. Maassen also had to give up his place with the stage leaders. Colotti saw everything from a distance and when his direct competition was almost at a standstill, he attacked. The other two barely reacted and looked at each other in despair. "I'm under orders not to ride any further, so you do it," was the thought of both riders. In a short time, the Frenchman had a three minute lead, so the prize was won. Maassen narrowly beat Sergeant and eventually finished second.


Maassen
(right) en Sergeant (left) on that disastrous day 22 July 1992

MEDIATION PANASONIC AND BUCKLER BY TORCHLIGHT

The big boss of the Tour, Leblanc, could not believe his eyes and was furious with both teams. In an official communiqué, both teams were accused of causing damage to the image of cycling. This eye-opener made the two teams realise that this was no longer acceptable. The responsible persons of the teams came together in secret for a meeting. This meeting took place in the forest, with some borrowed chairs from a local hotel and some torches. Half an hour later, the hatchet was officially buried by both teams.

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