Jan Raas Photo Gallery
Jan Raas in his Rainbow Jersey
Jan Raas was one of the premier single-day racers of the late 1970s and early 1980s. His five victories in the Amstel Gold Race remain the record. That race so perfected suited Raas' abilities, one magazine suggested renaming the race the "Amstel Gold Raas."
He turned pro in 1975 for TI-Raleigh, run by the legendary manager Peter Post. The next year saw Raas' first big win when he became Dutch Road Race Champion, the first of three such victories.
In 1977, racing for Frisol, he hit his stride, winning Milano-San Remo, Amstel Gold and a Tour de France stage.
Peter Post re-signed Raas for the 1978 season, making him a member of one of cycling's legendary teams, TI-Raleigh with Gerrie Knetemann, Henk Lubberding and Joop Zoetemelk. That year Raas went on a tear, winning some of racing's most important and prestigious races, including Paris Roubaix (1982) Ronde van Vlaanderen (1979, 1983) and Gent-Wevelgem (1981). Along the way he won ten Tour de France stages and spent four days in yellow.
He won the 1979 World Road Championship under controversial circumstances. He outsprinted Didi Thurau. But to some, it looked as if Thurau didn't contest the final rush to the line. Both have vigorously denied any collusion and Thurau insists he did all he could to win the race. The bar fights over that championship continue.
Raas was never the same rider after he crashed in the 1984 Milano-San Remo. He recovered well enough to gain another Dutch Road Championship and win a Tour stage, but that was it in terms of important race wins for Raas. He retired half-way through the 1985 season.
He spent the next decade successfully managing teams before quitting cycling in 2003.
1975: Grote Prijs Stad Zottegem
1976: Dutch Road Championships
1977: Milano-San Remo, Amstel Gold Race, Stage 6 Tour de France
1978: Amstel Gold Race, Paris-Brussels, Paris-Tours, 3 stages of the Tour de France
1979: World Road Championships, Ronde van Nederland, Amstel Gold Race, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Tour Médeterranéen, Stage 5 Tour de France
1980: Amstel Gold Race, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Tour Médeterranéen overall with 3 stage wins, Tour de Luxembourg, 4 stages of the Tour de France, Rotterdam 6-Day
1981: E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Omloop Het Volk, Gent-Wevelgem, Grote Prijs Jef Scherens, Étoile de Bessèges with 3 stage wins
1982: Amstel Gold Race, Paris-Roubaix, Dwars door Vlaanderen, 2 stages Tour de France
1983: Dutch Road Championships, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
1984: Dutch Road Championships, Tour de France stage 9
1984-1985: Kwantum Hallen-Yoko
Jan Raas racing the prologue of the 1978 Tour de France
Jan Raas in yellow after winning stage 1a of the 1978 Tour de France. Photo Hans Peters
Raas (left) signing a contract with TI-Raleigh team manager Peter Post. Probably 1978 or '79.
Raas (leading) at the 1979 Ronde van Vlaanderen
Jan Raas has just won the 1979 Ronde van Nederland
The 1979 World Championships podium, from left: Didi Thurau, Jan Raas and Jean-René Bernardeau. Photo: Bob Bogaerts
Another shot of that 1979 World Championships podium
Raas winning one of his 5 Amstel Gold Races
Raas in his Rainbow Jersey at the 1979 GP Kelvinator
Raas racing in 1982
1982 Raleigh bikes catalogue page featuring Jan Raas. TI Raleigh owned Reynolds tubing.
Jan Raas in 1984 or 1985, wearing his Dutch Champion's jersey
Raas in the kit of his final team, Kwantum, in 1984 or 1985.