Henk Nijdam started out as a pursuit specialist on the track. After competing in the team pursuit at the 1960 Olympics, he won the individual pursuit world title the following year. He turned professional in 1962, and again won the individual pursuit at the World Championships, following in the footsteps of Rudi Altig. His world title also earned him the “male athlete of the year” award in the Netherlands. Nijdam then switched focus to road racing. His greatest successes came in the major stage races, winning two stages in the Tour de France (1964, 1966) and four in the Vuelta (1966, 1967). His son Jelle would also become a successful cyclist, winning 6 Tour stages between 1987 and 1991.