The Amstel Bier brewery, part of the Heineken group, has been active in the cycling world since the 1950s. They started as sponsors of various races and individual riders, and in 1963 Amstel Bier founded their own amateur cycling team. The team leader was Herman Krott. As well as managing the Amstel cycling team, Krott also founded the Amstel Gold Race in 1966. This race eventually became the only Dutch cycling classic for pros.
Some well-known riders who have cycled for Amstel Bier are Gerrie Knetemann, Fedor den Hertog, Gert-Jan Theunisse and Leo and Teun van Vliet. And not to forget: Joop Zoetemelk, who was part of the Amstel Bier team for no less than three years.
Joop Zoetemelk in the Amstel amateur team
During their existence, more than 2500 victories were recorded. Some great victories were the Olympia's Tour in 1964 and the Dutch Championship in 1976.
In November 1987, the Amstel amateur cycling team stopped. The cycling team has thus existed for almost 25 years. A book about the history of the Amstel cycling team called "Rrrang op het kantje" was published in the same year.
Book Rrrang op het kantje
Out of 140 amateurs who cycled with Amstel during this period, 60 ended up as professional cyclists. Herman Krott stayed active by being the director of the Amstel Gold Race until 1995. Afterwards, he was replaced by his own former cyclist, Leo van Vliet. Even today, the Amstel team and its team leader Krott are still remembered, and the Herman Krott Trophy is awarded annually at the Amstel Gold Race since 1997.
Herman Krott with one of his former riders