He is best known for being the first Dutch cyclist to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France of 1951, and for falling into a ravine while wearing lieutenant Prior to his cycling career, he used to smuggle tobacco by bike, but was eventually caught and served several months in prison. He started his cycling career (as an amateur) in 1946, after a professional runner had seen him race in a local competition as part of a wager.
In the 12th stage, from Agen to Dax, he escaped with a small group.
As the first Dutchman to wear the accompanying yellow jersey he was praised by the public and media at home. Miraculously, he survived the fall and had no serious injuries.
Using a chain of tyres, and helped by spectators and his manager, he managed to get back to the road. Nevertheless, he remained most famous for the two days in the 1951 Tour de France.
To remember this event, a monument was placed on the mountain 50 years after the event, on 17 July 2001.
Wim van Est died in his hometown Sint Willebrord.