Dutch Language Blog

Dutch Cyclists and Tom Dumoulin Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Anyone who has visited the Netherlands knows that the Dutch are the masters of cycling. Regardless of the weather, the Dutch can cycle, hold their umbrella, drink a smoothie and share this on Snapchat all at the same time. During this year’s Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin proved just how good Dutch cyclists are.

Tom Dumoulin (photograph taken by denismenchov08 found on Flickr.com)

Tom Dumoulin was born in Maastricht and grew up watching the famous Amstel Gold Race his whole life. Professionally, he has been on the cycling radar since 2010. During the 2016 Giro d’Italia, Dumoulin started well but quickly fell behind in the ranks and he did not finish. This year, however, he gave a spectacular performance.

Dumoulin started the race strong but lost time during the race after making an emergency stop for the bathroom. Fortunately, he was able to make up the lost time in the following stages and, in the end, brought to the Netherlands the famous maglia rosa.

The following video shows the moment Dumoulin won the Giro d’Italia with Dutch commentators. Some important words to keep an eye on are pech which means bad luck, geschiedenis schrijven which means write history, and wordt gek meaning is going crazy.


Right after the race, a reporter from RTL interviewed Dumoulin. The video has subtitles and it is interesting to notice how Dumoulin speaks. On a previous post, I wrote about Limburg dialect and how the “g” is pronounced a lot softer. You can certainly hear the difference between Dumoulin’s g and that of the reporter.

Maastricht has been celebrating Dumoulin’s victory in many ways. There is a big pink frame you can take a photograph with, many bakeries and restaurants are offering pink Dumoulin treats and his house was decorated with pink balloons and garlands. The celebration has good reasons. This is the first time a Dutch cyclist wins the Giro d’Italia and his name now joins the two greatest professional cyclists, Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk.

Useful Vocabulary

de pech- bad luck
gek- crazy
worden- to become
de geschiedenis- history
ongelofelijk- unbelievable
de grootheden- the great ones 
cycling history
nuchtere kerel- down to earth guy 
redelijk- reasonable
beschrijven- to describe
vrolijk vogeltje- happy bird, happy person
de hartslag- heartbeat
het trucje- trick
berekenen- to calculate
veranderen- to change
verleden- past, previous
de toekomst- future
grote bak bier- big case of beer

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!