Waalre, August 2007.
Paris, France – Young rising star in the mountainbike scene, Dutch rider Rudi van Houts of the Dolphin-Trek team has won the 2007 edition of the Tour de France for mountainbikers.
In the last stage of the Tour Van Houts never got into troubles. The short 4km time trial at the hills and stairs of the Sacre Coeur, Montmartre were won by Frenchman Miguel Martinez.
German’s Jochen Kass and only threat to Rudi van Houts overall victory finished second, Van Houts finished third and only lost 6 seconds. Teammate and Australian champion Chris Jongewaard completed to Dolphin party as he claimed fourth in the today’s stage.
After Rudi van Houts current teammate at Dolphin-Trek Bart Brentjens won the Tour de France VTT back in ’95, ’96 and ’02 he’s the only Dutch rider so far to achieve this. In the team’s general classification the Dutch based Dolphin team dominated from beginning until the end. With the results of the last few stages Rudi van Houts was also able to conquer the green points jersey.
His teammates finished overall 6th (Jongewaard, Aus), 10th (Taberlay, Aus) and 12th (Beemer*, Ned).*finished 3rd at U23 overall. Winning the Tour de France for mountainbikers has always been a dream to the Dolphin teammembers.
Rudi van Houts is the first to manage to win this remarkable event. A good day also for all sponsors of the team with special regards to Dolphin (for winning the Tour) and bicycle manufacturer TREK who has won in 2007 both the road and off road version of the Tour de France. A even more remarkable fact was that Alberto Contador and Rudi van Houts had a coffee together before the Tour started; a picture to remember now for the future.