An cy0*1? HAVE EXPERIENCE WILL ELY! AMSTEL GOLD RACE 1985 Illness What's so great about it? This international road racing event for professional cyclists has been organised by Heineken for many years. It has the reputation of being a tough race. This year it wil be held on Saturday 27 April. The course is about 250 kms long and passes through hilly countryside in the South of Holland. Though the racing cyclists in the Amstel team are not regarded as actual employees, there is certainly a close link between Heineken and these true sportsmen. Many Amstel team members, such as Joop Zoetemelk and Gerrie Knetemann, turned professional after spending the greater part of their amateur period racing for our brand. Some remained faithful to us. Arie Hassink is one of these. He has been a member of our team for 17 years and that makes him the racing cyclist who's been with us longest. We went along to look him up in the East of Holland, where he has his own sportswear shop in the village of Neede. Sacrifices Studying Why? Future dream If Arie Hassink is not in the saddle or out training, you can find him here selling sports goods in his shop in the East of Holland. Arie is determined to keep entering cycle races for a few years yet, but then in less important events. He's had to sacrifice an incredible amount to reach the high spots in his career. Early to bed, lots of training, gymnastics and long-distance running in the winter, at least one hour every day. Yet it's all become second nature to Arie. He wouldn't change those habits now. Why has he stayed so long with the Amstel team? "It's a good atmosphere", Arie explains, "and team manager Herman Krott is someone who knows how to keep a tight grip on things. He's as hard as nails, but also very human. When I was ill for two years, he regularly came along and visited me to cheer me up or discuss things with me." Twelve years ago Arie was taken ill. He contracted a very serious lung complaint. Just when he was on the verge of turning professional. The doctors thought he would never be able to enter competitive events againThey advised him not to make a professional career out of his hobby. That's one piece of advice that Arie took to heart. He got back on his bike again as an amateur and continued his triumphant series of victories. An average of ten wins each year. That's what characterises all racing cyclists: pedalling on despite all the setbacks. A few more years and Arie's age will force him to stop cycle racing. A shame, but he doesn't plan to sit around and mope. He's already preparing for the future and is studying to become a qualified cycling trainer. He's already taking an interest in the progress of younger cyclists and helping them on their difficult road to the top. One of his pupils had no idea at all how to cycle properly when Arie first took an interest in him. This year that same young rider was in the squad sent out to the Olympic Games. "That gives me a feeling of satisfaction", Arie willingly admits. What are the things that attract him about cycle racing in general? "The travelling. Working as an individual, but then in a team. And, if you have a chance of winning an eventit gives you a tremendous kick", explains Arie. "Winning makes you want to go on to the next race. Even now I still go to each race with the will to win." He'll succeed in winning many more times over the next few years. That's something we're convinced of. HASSINK Arie Hassink in his element. Arie Hassink, longest-serving member of the Amstel cycle racing team. Arie, looking younger than his 34 years, leaves his wife Antoinette in charge of the shop while he has a friendly chat with us in his living room upstairs. His 3-year-old daughter Areeke has been sent downstairs to her mother and 3- month-old son Arne doesn't make a sound, he's fast asleep. "I did spend one season riding as an amateur for another Dutch team before I joined Amstel at the age of 17. In fact, I came as the replacement for Joop Zoetemelk who had just turned professional. In that same year I went along as a reserve to the world championships in England. So the top work started almost straight away for me", says Arie. He has had a lot of wins. He's been the Dutch national champion.Twice he's taken first place in Olympia's Tour of Holland, a road race for amateurs. He was present at the Olympic Games in Montreal. As he tells of his victories, he constantly mentions the names of foreign countries and places, for Arie Hassink is one of the better Dutch amateurs. He still rides regularly today, but then almost solely in Holland itself. The years have started to creep up on him. Arie, too, has reached the phase that every great sportsman has to go through as he gets older. Arie calmly: "Last year when I was standing under the shower after a big stage race in France, I knew for sure: the top flight is over as far as I'm concerned. I can't do it any more.It must have come as a blow to him, suddenly realising his best days were over. But he's not one to get sad about it. My hobby is flying. Dave Gibson of Dublin, high above Erin's Green Isle. We met him on solid ground. But more often than not his head is up in the clouds. For his hobby is piloting a plane. Dave Gibson works as deputy head of the Technical Beer Service in our depot in Dublin (Ireland)He spends a lot of his leisure time in planes. "When I was only 16 years old I used to listen in at the airport to the talks between pilots and the control tower. I wanted to fly even in those days, but didn't have the money. It was not until 1980 that I was able to take flying lessons. On my birthday in that year 1 went up for my first solo flight. Now I'm 37", Dave told us. Now he's also marriedwith a son of 6 and a daughter aged 12. His daughter is the only one in the family who would like to fly.if her mother would let her. Mrs. Gibson doesn't like planes at all. Dave sits opposite us. It's plain to see that flying occupies a very important part of his life. It takes up an incredible amount of his time as well. Not so much in the cockpit as at home. Because he has to do such an awful lot of studying. He has to know all the rules and regulations, everything there is to know about navigation and radio communications. And, last but not least, about meteorology. His eyes are of a crystal-clear blue. Sparkling with life. They're accustomed to looking at the blue horizon. He's gained one diploma after the other. As from this year he's been allowed to do instrument flying. Now he can fly anywhere, provided he doesn't earn money by doing it. If he did want to make a living out of it he'd need a commercial licence and that's almost impossible from a financial point of view. He estimates it would cost him as much as some 3,(XX) Irish pounds for rental of planes, exam fees and so on. Why do you devote so much of your time and energy to it, why do you spend so much money on it? Dave doesn't have an immediate answer to this. He thinks for a moment, his blue eyes staring absently into space. "What attracts me is the feeling of freedom up there in the air. You have control over your machine. That freedom is only possible if you impose an iron discipline on yourself. Because you have to stick to all the rules. Otherwise you might be endangering your own life and that of others. It's that discipline that gives you that freedom. Both of them together make flying into a sort of addiction for me." At the moment he'll fly his Cessna 182 and anyone to any place at all, as long as they're willing to share the costs. This is how he is able to get the most enjoyment out of his hobby without going bankrupt. "The only thing that stops me getting up in the air is a lack of cash. Flying for me is almost compulsory", he adds. What would be the best thing that the future could bring for him? "To become a helicopter pilot", he replies. "An impossibility, as you need to have had 100 hours flying experience. At least, that's the case in Ireland. I've worked out that altogether that would set me back about 40,000 Irish pounds." We took our leave of a born pilot. "Pity that Heineken hasn't got its own planes or a helicopter", we thought later. But perhaps there are some, and we were wrong. If so: should anyone want to let Dave Gibson take them for a flight, his address is: Depot Murphy's Brewery Ireland, Cherry Orchard Industrial Estate, Dublin (Ireland). Pilots belong in the air. Dave Gibson next to his plane. Let him fly you somewhere.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1985 | | pagina 5