The skating tour of 1985 caught on film

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

The 1985 Eleven Cities Tour race was won by Evert van Benthem. Radio Netherlands Television (RNTV) reported the event in a 30-minute documentary, produced for the international market.

The commentary is by Tom Meijer, a RNW radio star of the time. The film, produced in collaboration with the Dutch Polygoon studios, was directed by Pieter Landman. Sit back and enjoy this gem from the RNW archives.


After the closing of RNTV in 1986, television production turned to satellite TV. After a couple of summer seasons of Zomer TV for Dutch speakers abroad, RNW joined forces with Flemish broadcaster VRT and created satellite channel BVN, which airs domestic Dutch and Belgian shows.

RNW's own video production has turned to short videos for the web, typically 2 or 3 minutes long - a far cry from the 30 minutes of the Eleven Cities Tour documenary.

A wartime race
An even older documentary, made by an unknown amateur, was put online by the Frisian Film Archive. It shows how the people of Friesland managed to hold the race in 1941, in the middle of World War II. Officers of the occupying German forces are seen watching the event. The onscreen captions are in Dutch only.