Theo Middelkamp, who passed away in his sleep last Monday, aged 91, was born February 23, 1914. It was said he found fame and fortune more important than the races itself, especially after his first Tour de France stage win on July 14, 1936, where he participated in more than his fair share of lucrative kermis races as a consequence of his newfound celebrity status.
Before that stage from Aix-les-Bains to Grenoble, the then 22 year-old bragged to the press he would win a mountain stage of the Tour, and sure enough, on a day that crossed the Col du Telegraphe, Galibier and the Lautaret, Middelkamp actions spoke as loud as his words, with his second TdF victory coming two years later. After the Second World War, Middelkamp's ambitions still burned bright, scoring 25 wins in 1945 before being crowned world road champion two years later in Reims. Middelkamp is survived by two sons and a daughter.