Historic Overview Danny Nelissen
Daniel ("Danny") Wilhelmus Maria Nelissen (born 10 November 1970 in Sittard, Netherlands) is a Dutch former professional road bicycle racer and former sports commentator at Eurosport. He won the 1995 amateur world championship and was named Dutch Sportsman of the year. He was the nephew of cycling commentator Jean Nelissen.
He started his professional career in 1990 with PDM, for which he won his first professional race, the Grand Prix de Wallonie, in 1992. In 1994, while riding for the Dutch TVM team, he developed heart rhythm impairments and returned to ride at amateur level.
The following year in Colombia he won the amateur world championship. He was the last amateur world champion, the UCI replacing the race with a youth competition in 1996. The triumph lead to Nelissen being voted as 1995 Dutch Sportsman of the year. According to Nelissen, his use of a power meter was key to his win: he claimed that he was one of the few riders "(who) had them and knew what they could do" at that time, alongside Greg LeMond and Jonathan Vaughters. All three riders shared the same coach, Adrie Van Diemen. He prepared for the race by tackling the hardest climb on the finishing circuit in a variety of ways to find the tactic which would enable him to complete the climb fastest, settling on riding it at a steady tempo. During the race he was able to use this tactic to catch up to the other riders in the winning break after being dropped by them at the start of the climb. He made his winning break just over a lap from the finish, attacking on a descent and soloing to the finish.
He was brought into the Rabobank team for two years under manager Jan Raas. In the 1996 Tour de France, he wore the polka dot jersey as leader of the mountains classification for a couple of days. Before 1998, he joined the Danish team, Team Home – Jack & Jones (later named Team CSC).
In January 1999, further heart problems brought his retirement at 28.
He is currently the production manager of Dutch Eurosport.
Danny Nelissen was the first Dutch road bicycle racer to admit the use of doping during the years 1996 and 1997. He repeated his confession on Dutch television (RTL7, interview by Wilfred Genee, 21 Jan. 2013).