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Rik Van Looy

Rik Van Looy
Van Looy at the 1965 Tour de France
Personal information
NicknameRik II (Rik I is Van Steenbergen)
Emperor of Herentals
BornHenri Van Looy
(1933-12-20) 20 December 1933 (age 90)
Grobbendonk, Belgium
Team information
Current teamRetired
RoleRider
Rider typeClassics Specialist
Sprinter
Professional teams
1953–1954l'Avenir
1953–1954Gitane–Hutchinson
1954Touring
1954Bianchi–Pirelli
1955Van Hauwaert–Maes Pils
1956–1961Faema–Guerra
1962Flandria–Faema–Clément
1963G.B.C.–Libertas
1964–1966Solo–Superia
1967–1970Willem II–Gazelle
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
Points classification (1963)
Combativity award (1963)
7 individual stages (1963, 1965, 1969)
Giro d'Italia
Mountains classification (1960)
12 individual stages (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962)
Vuelta a España
Points classification (1959, 1965)
18 individual stages (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965)

Other stage races

Tour of the Netherlands (1956, 1957)
Vuelta a Levante (1959)
Giro di Sardegna (1959, 1962, 1965)
Tour of Belgium (1961)
Paris–Luxembourg (1964)

One-day races and Classics

World Road Race Championships (1960, 1961)
National Road Race Championship (1958, 1963)
Milan–San Remo (1958)
Tour of Flanders (1959, 1962)
Paris–Roubaix (1961, 1962, 1965)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1961)
Giro di Lombardia (1959)
Gent–Wevelgem (1956, 1957, 1962)
La Flèche Wallonne (1968)
Scheldeprijs (1956, 1957)
Paris–Brussels (1956, 1958)
Coppa Bernocchi (1957, 1958)
Paris–Tours (1959, 1967)
Championship of Flanders (1959)
Boucles de l'Aulne (1963, 1964)
E3 Saxo Bank Classic (1964, 1965, 1966, 1969)

Track cycling

National Championships - Madison (1969)
Medal record
Representing  Belgium
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1952 Helsinki Team road race
Men's road bicycle racing
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1960 Karl Marx Stadt Road Race
Gold medal – first place 1961 Bern Road Race
Silver medal – second place 1956 Copenhagen Road Race
Silver medal – second place 1963 Ronse Road Race
Bronze medal – third place 1953 Lugano Am. Road Race
Men's track cycling
European Championships
Silver medal – second place 1962 Zürich Madison
Bronze medal – third place 1962 Berlin Derny

Henri "Rik" Van Looy (born 20 December 1933 in Grobbendonk) is a Belgian former professional cyclist of the post-war period. Nicknamed the King of the Classics or Emperor of Herentals (after the small Belgian city where he lived), he dominated the classic cycle races in the late 1950s and first half of the ‘60s.

Van Looy was twice world professional road race champion, and was the first cyclist to win all five 'Monuments': the most prestigious one-day classics – a feat since achieved by just two others (both also Belgians: Roger De Vlaeminck and Eddy Merckx).

With 367 professional road victories, he ranks second all-time behind Eddy Merckx. Van Looy is ninth on the all-time list of Grand Tour stage winners with thirty-seven victories.[1] These numbers could still have risen had he not been the victim of a significant number of falls resulting in serious injuries. Remarkable was his sporting rivalry with two other cycling legends: namely established value Rik Van Steenbergen at the beginning of Van Looy's career. Conversely, Van Looy had to face the generational change with a young Eddy Merckx at the end of his career.[2]

Early life

Rik Van Looy was born in 1933 in Grobbendonk, in the Antwerp Province. As a child, Van Looy was fascinated by cycling. Before the age of 13, he worked as a paper boy. The foundation of his further career was laid in that period, by daily riding on a packed, much too heavy bicycle.

In his very first races as a youngster, however, he did not yet stand out as the big talent.

Career

Amateur years

Van Looy rose to prominence when he won the Belgian amateur road championship in 1952. He repeated the victory the following year, adding third place in the world title race the same year, before turning professional. He took part in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, participating in the road race, but without completing it. Instead, he and his teammates won the gold medal in the team road race.[3] At the age of 19, Van Looy won the bronze medal in the World Championship amateur road race in Lugano.

1953-1960

A powerful sprinter, Van Looy won two races in what was left of his first professional season (1953), and 20 more over the next couple of seasons. In 1956, his victories included Gent–Wevelgem and Paris–Brussels, plus two stages and overall victory in the Tour of the Netherlands. He also won a silver medal in the world road race championship, behind his countryman Rik Van Steenbergen (whom the team was obliged to ride for).

Van Looy after winning a 1956 Tour of the Netherlands stage

He repeated his Gent–Wevelgem and Tour of the Netherlands victories in 1957, and in 1958, Van Looy won the season's opening classic, Milan–San Remo.

1959 saw Van Looy take the early-season Tour of Flanders and the autumn classic, the Giro di Lombardia. In between, he scored another 38 victories, including three stages of the Vuelta a España (finishing third overall and winning the points competition) and four stages of the Giro d'Italia (for 4th overall).

1961-1966

In 1960, he scored the first of two consecutive victories in the world road race championship, but "classic" victories eluded him. However, he made up for this in 1961, winning both Paris–Roubaix and Liège–Bastogne–Liège – making him the first rider to take all five 'Monuments' – as well as retaining his rainbow world title jersey, and taking three stages, plus the mountains competition in the Giro d' Italia.

Van Looy scored two more Classic wins in 1962 (Paris–Roubaix, Tour of Flanders), took another Gent–Wevelgem, and two more Giro stages. At the age of 28, he made his debut in the 1962 Tour de France as one of the major favorites. Van Looy's strategy was to exhaust co-favorites Federico Bahamontes and Jacques Anquetil before the mountain stages started. However, after ten stages in which Van Looy gave a spectacle, he was forced to abandon the Tour due a collision with a motorcyclist. Tour director Jacques Goddet publicly regretted his departure.

"My main rival in the tours wasn’t Baldini, Gaul or Poulidor. It was Van Looy. I had to match him in the flat stages and even in the mountains, because if I didn’t, he would turn up in the time-trials with a 15-minute advantage."

Jacques Anquetil on Van Looy [4]

Van Looy talking with Jacques Anquetil in the 1964 Tour de France

In 1963 Van Looy rode the Tour de France again, taking four stages en route to victory in the points competition and a 10th place on general classification. He also grabbed a silver medal in the world title race. In the latter race, held in Ronse in his native Belgium, he was beaten in the sprint by his countryman Benoni Beheyt who manually pushed Van Looy aside. Van Looy, starting the sprint too early, did not take this defeat lightly. This race has remained memorable in the history of Belgian cycling.

In 1965, he scored 42 victories, including Paris–Roubaix, and eight stages of the Vuelta on his way to his second third place overall (his highest placing in a Grand Tour). Van Looy also took two stages in the Tour de France.

1966-1970

During the final years of his career, Rik Van Looy's road performances began to fade, as the new Belgian star Eddy Merckx rose to prominence, but he still grabbed second in the 1967 Paris–Roubaix. He won La Flèche Wallonne in 1968, becoming the only cyclist to win all 8 original classics. Van Looy also took a stage of the 1969 Tour de France. His rivalry with Eddy Merckx reached the height of sabotage of Merckx in the world championships organized in Belgium, in 1969.[5]

Track cycling career

Van Looy was also a star on the track, winning 12 Six-day races. His first came in Brussels in 1957, his last in Antwerp in 1968. For ten of these victories, he was paired with Dutchman Peter Post.

In the winter of 1956 he was paired with Rik Van Steenbergen for some track races. Events that many looked forward to, but the plans were shelved after they both had arguments during the 1956 world championship in Copenhagen. The two Riks would eventually ride together in a few Six-days races in 1963.

Riding style

Van Looy was a very powerful sprinter, rather heavy for his height due to his muscular legs. In mountain stages, he was usually able to keep up the pace, but less able to make the difference.

Despite his sprint qualities, he usually wanted to avoid the sprint by escaping earlier. Van Looy enjoyed the cheering of the crowd more during solo arrivals. There was no time for that, while participating in a sprint and preparing for it.

He could also motivate himself knowing he was being chased by competitors. This is also why he did not excel in individual time trials, it fascinated him less. Yet that shortcoming is hard to link with a man who could ride in the lead for miles without a flinch, visibly hurting his opponents. The more calculated riding during stage races, was at odds with his attacking style. As a result, he never won the overall classification in a Grand Tour, which also always included time trials. He did win overall victories in shorter stage races (in the 1965 Giro di Sardegna for example, by winning 5 out of 6 stages).[6]

Rik Van Looy wearing the Giro di Sardegna winner's jersey in 1965

Leadership

Van Looy did not spare himself during preparations for races, which were characterized by spartan training methods combined with a carefully selected diet.

Gradually, he stood out for his dominant character, both in his team and in the peloton. His leadership was strict, but always fair. Because of him, the term "team captain" was brought to a higher level. He worked out the fledgling leader-domestique system to perfection, and the team had to ride entirely in his service. Instead of the team manager, he himself decided the tactics, which riders were best suited for this and even what they would earn.

The Flandria-Faema team that was built around Van Looy was nicknamed the Red Brigade by the peloton and public, after the red jerseys the riders wore.[7]

1963 World Championship incident

The 1963 world championship in Ronse seemed an ideal opportunity to triumph a third time, with a course that suited Van Looy, and this time supported by a home crowd.

The Belgian team would be riding completely for Van Looy, but during the race it turned out that Gilbert Desmet and Benoni Beheyt (both riding for a different brand team than Van Looy) had other plans. At the end of the race, Desmet escaped and Van Looy was forced to start the sprint much earlier than expected, after which Beheyt (pushing away on Van Looy's shoulder) eventually finished first.

Van Looy, Beheyt and De Roo on the stage of a controversial 1963 World Championship

The jury only briefly considered the problem of the obviously irregular sprint and did not change the final result. The medals were awarded in front of a rather confused audience, with both Van Looy and Beheyt having a hard time smiling. The story about the Betrayal of Ronse dragged on for a long time in the press and public, and crowds of people showed up at races where both gentlemen would start.

It didn't really seem to bother Van Looy, he enjoyed the commotion that cycling caused. Nevertheless, it is suggested that he systematically thwarted Beheyt's career afterwards. Fact is that the latter already stopped cycling a few years later at the age of 27, also due to injury problems.

The two gentlemen turned out to be on good terms after that, although neither of them seldom wanted to talk about the 1963 world championship again in interviews.[8]

Retirement

On August 22, 1970, after a race, Van Looy decided to quit professional cycling immediately and in all discretion. Unlike his predecessor Rik Van Steenbergen, he resolutely refused a lucrative "farewell tour" via criteria and track races. Neither was he interested in a high-paying farewell cycling race in the Antwerp Sports Palace.

Not surprisingly, he subsequently was appointed as team manager for Willem II–Gazelle. Afterwards he became a driver-consultant for a newspaper and magazine during races and in a later phase director of the Flemish cycling school in Herentals, the city of which he is now an honorary citizen.

In his house nothing reminds of his glorious past. "What's past is past. All the trophies, jerseys and medals,... I've given it all away. To charities, supporters and friends, it means more to them than to me" Van Looy once mentioned.[9]

Personal life

Rik Van Looy in 2010

Rik Van Looy married Nini Mariën in 1955. Both formed a close-knit couple. Nini was partly behind the top career Rik Van Looy was able to build. She was one of the most famous riders' wives in the peloton in the 1950s and 1960s, and put her life entirely at the service of Van Looy's career.

After a lingering illness, she died in 2021 at the age of 88. By then, Van Looy had already withdrawn from public life for a while to assist her. "She has done so much for me, now it's my turn" Van Looy said.[10]

The couple had a daughter and a son. Van Looy rode on incentives, which could also come from his family. When he lectured his young son by saying "when will you come home with a good school report again?" the boy's response was "when will you win another classic again?" The following week, the 34-year-old Van Looy won La Flèche Wallonne.

Legacy

Given the specialization of a cyclist's role in the modern peloton, Rik Van Looy's number of professional road race victories will most likely never be surpassed in the future.

Van Looy is also probably the most popular rider Belgium has ever known. Obviously because of his victories and his attacking way of cycling. But his constant accessibility towards supporters, combined with his honest no-nonsense style in interviews contributed even more to this. Common people could identify with him, in contrast to the less language-savvy Eddy Merckx. Even when Merckx's performances began to surpass those of Van Looy, he seemed to have more opponents among Belgian cycling fans, compared to Van Looy.

In addition, Van Looy had a "clean image", compared to many of his colleagues and the generations of cyclists that would follow. "My performances started to improve significantly after I started following the training schedules and diets of doctor Dries Claes, which I had to convince to start a collaboration. As he was outspokenly opposed to doping in sports, and even a member of the anti-doping commission, the use of banned substances was completely out of the question." Van Looy mentioned in an 2023 interview.[11][12]

Awards and honours

Bust of Van Looy in Grobbendonk
Statue of Van looy in Herentals
Bust of Van Looy in Grobbendonk and statue in Herentals

Through his career, several singles about Van Looy were released by Flemish and Dutch artists.[29]

Records

Major results

Road

1952
1st Team road race, Olympic Games
1st Road race, National Amateur Championships
1st Omloop der Vlaamse Gewesten Amateurs
2nd Brussels–Opwijk (fr)
1953
1st Road race, National Amateur Championships
1st Ronde van Midden-Nederland
1st Heistse Pijl
1st Omloop Het Volk U23
1st Stage 5 Tour of Austria
3rd Road race, UCI World Amateur Championships
1954
1st Roubaix–Huy
1st Stage 3a Driedaagse van Antwerpen
1st Berchem
2nd Overall Tour of Belgium
1955
1st Omloop van Oost-Vlaanderen
2nd Heistse Pijl
3rd Omloop van Midden-België
1956
1st Road race, National Interclubs Championships
1st Overall Tour of the Netherlands
1st Stages 3, 4b & 6
1st Overall Driedaagse van Antwerpen
1st Stages 2a & 2b
1st Gent–Wevelgem
1st Paris–Brussels
1st Scheldeprijs
1st De Drie Zustersteden
1st Vijfbergenomloop
1st GP van Brasschaat
2nd Road race, UCI World Championships
2nd Nationale Sluitingsprijs
2nd Heistse Pijl
2nd Omloop van de Fruitstreek
1957
1st Overall Tour of the Netherlands
1st Stages 2, 3a, 3b & 6a
1st Gent–Wevelgem
1st Scheldeprijs
1st Coppa Bernocchi
1st Schaal Sels-Merksem
1st Omloop van Oost-Vlaanderen
1st GP Roeselare
1st GP van Brasschaat
1st Stage 5 Roma–Napoli–Roma
Driedaagse van Antwerpen
1st Stages 3a & 3b
2nd Classica Sarda
2nd Circuit des Trois Provinces
2nd Omloop van Midden-België
3rd Circuit of Houtland
1958
National Championships
1st Road race
1st Interclubs road race
1st Milan–San Remo
1st Coppa Bernocchi
1st Milano-Mantova
1st Paris–Brussels
1st GP Dr. Eugeen Roggeman
Vuelta a España
1st Stages 4, 5b, 6, 9 & 10
Vuelta a Levante
1st Stages 1, 3 (TTT), 4 & 8
1st Stage 2b Grand Prix Marvan
2nd Overall Driedaagse van Antwerpen
1st Stage 3
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
2nd Omloop Het Volk
3rd Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stage 3
3rd Paris–Roubaix
3rd Giro di Sardegna
3rd Nationale Sluitingsprijs
1959
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 2, 4 & 6
1st Overall Vuelta a Levante
1st Stages 2, 6, & 7
1st Championship of Flanders
1st Tour of Flanders
1st Giro di Lombardia
1st Paris–Tours
1st Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st GP Stad Vilvoorde
1st Tielt-Antwerpen-Tielt
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1b, 8, 9 & 11
3rd Overall Super Prestige Pernod
4rd Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 1, 5, 11 & 14
1960
1st Road race, UCI World Championships
1st Ronde van Brabant
Paris–Nice
1st Points classification
1st Stage 2 (TTT), 5 & 8b
Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 4 & 5
1st Stage 2a Driedaagse van Antwerpen
2nd Sassari-Cagliari
2nd Weekend ardennais
3rd Tour of Flanders
3rd Critérium des As
4th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Mountains classification
1st Stages 7b, 8 & 11
1961
1st Road race, UCI World Championships
1st Overall Tour of Belgium
1st Stages 4a & 4b
1st Overall Weekend ardennais
Paris–Nice
1st Points classification
1st Stages 7 & 8
Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 2 & 6
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Critérium des As
1st Bol d'Or des Monédières
1st Heusden Koers
2nd Milan–San Remo
3rd Overall Super Prestige Pernod
7th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 13, 15 & 17
1962
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 3 & 5b
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 9 & 11
Paris–Nice
1st Points classification
1st Stages 7b & 9b
Tour of Belgium
1st Points classification
1st Stages 3 & 4a (TTT)
1st Gent–Wevelgem
1st Tour of Flanders
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Critérium de Boulogne-sur-Mer
1st Textielprijs Vichte
1st Memorial Fred De Bruyne
1st Stage 2b (TTT) Tour de France
1st Grand Prix du Parisien (TTT)
2nd Schelde-Dender-Leie
3rd Eschborn–Frankfurt
3rd Omloop van Oost-Vlaanderen
1963
1st Road race, National Championships
1st Boucles de l'Aulne
1st Omloop der Vlaamse Gewesten
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stages 2 & 5
2nd Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stage 4
2nd Road race, UCI World Championships
2nd Paris Roubaix
3rd Overall Paris–Nice
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1, 4 & 8
3rd Critérium des As
10th Overall Tour de France
1st Points classification
Combativity award
1st Stages 2, 8, 13 & 21
1964
1st Overall Paris–Luxembourg
1st Stage 2
1st Harelbeke-Antwerpen-Harelbeke
1st Boucles de l'Aulne
1st Bruxelles–Meulebeke
1st Textielprijs Vichte
1st Stage 2 Vuelta a España
1st Stage 4b Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stage 4 Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 4 Giro di Sardegna
2nd Paris–Brussels
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Championship of Flanders
2nd Ronde van Brabant
3rd Gent–Wevelgem
1965
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6
1st Harelbeke-Antwerpen-Harelbeke
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Elfstedenronde
1st Classica Sarda
1st Bruxelles–Meulebeke
1st Flèche enghiennoise
1st GP Ninove
1st Heusden Koers
Tour de Luxembourg
1st Stages 1, 2b & 4
Tour de France
1st Stages 1 & 19
1st Stage 4b Tour du Sud-Est
1st Stage 2 Tour of Belgium
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1, 2, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15 & 17
Held after Stages 1a & 1b
3rd Liederkerkse Pijl
1966
1st Harelbeke-Antwerpen-Harelbeke
1st Omloop van de Fruitstreek
1st Stage 4 Paris–Nice
1st Stage 2 Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 3 Tour de Luxembourg
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Omloop van Midden-België
3rd Overall Tour of the Netherlands
1st Stage 2
3rd Paris-Brussels
1967
1st Paris–Tours
1st Omloop van de Fruitstreek
1st GP Briek Schotte
1st Stage 5 Tour de France
1st Stage 2 Giro di Sardegna
1st Stage 4 Paris–Nice
1st Points classification, Tour of Belgium
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd Circuit of Houtland
2nd Flèche enghiennoise
2nd Wezembeek-Oppem
2nd Trofee Luc Van Biesen
1968
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Seraing–Aachen–Seraing
1st Rotheux-Aix-Rotheux
1st Critérium de Boulogne-sur-Mer
2nd Flèche enghiennoise
3rd Championship of Flanders
3rd Halle–Ingooigem
1969
1st Stage 4 Tour de France
1st E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
1st Omloop van de Grensstreek
1st Omloop der Zennevallei
1st Heistse Pijl
1st GP Briek Schotte
1970
1st Kessel–Lier

Track

1953
1st Omnium of Antwerp, 10 Jan
1st Omnium of Antwerp, 24 Jan
1st Omnium of Antwerp, 13 Feb
1956
1st Omnium of Rocourt
1st Omnium of Brussels
3rd Six Days of Brussels (with Lucien Acou)
1957
1st Six Days of Brussels (with Willy Vannitsen)
1st Omnium of Antwerp
1st Omnium of Brussels
1st Omnium of Gent, 29 Sep
1st Omnium of Gent, 1 Nov
1958
1st Six Days of Ghent (with Reginald Arnold)
1st Omnium of Milan
1st Omnium of Gent
1st Omnium of Brussels
1st Omnium of Zürich
1959
1st Omnium of Gent, 14 Feb
1st Omnium of Paris
1st Omnium of Brussels, 15 April
1st Omnium of Gent, 16 Apr
1st Omnium of Rocourt
1st Omnium of Brussels, 31 Oct
1st Omnium of Gent, 1 Nov
1960
1st Six Days of Berlin (with Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Ghent (with Peter Post)
1st Omnium of Brussels
2nd Six Days of Brussels (with Peter Post)
2nd Six Days of Frankfurt (with Peter Post)
1961
1st Six Days of Antwerp (with Willy Vannitsen & Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Cologne (with Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Brussels (with Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Ghent (with Peter Post)
1st Omnium of Brussels
National Championships
2nd Madison (with Edgard Sorgeloos)
2nd Omnium
2nd Six Days of Berlin (with Peter Post)
2nd Six Days of Frankfurt (with Peter Post)
3rd Six Days of Zürich (with Peter Post)
1962
1st Six Days of Antwerp (with Oscar Plattner & Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Berlin (with Peter Post)
1st Six Days of Dortmund (with Peter Post)
European Championships
2nd Madison (with Peter Post)
3rd Derny
2nd Six Days of Berlin (with Peter Post)
3rd Six Days of Milan (with Peter Post)
1963
2nd Six Days of Berlin (with Rik van Steenbergen)
3rd Six Days of Zürich (with Rik van Steenbergen)
1964
1st Omnium of Rocourt
1st Omnium of Ostend
1965
1st Omnium of Ostend, 30 July
1st Omnium of Ostend, 12 Aug
1st Omnium of Rocourt
1st Omnium of Ostend, 21 Aug
1st Omnium of Valenciennes
1st Omnium of Brussels
1968
1st Madison (with Patrick Sercu), National Championships
1st Omnium of Gent, 30 Oct (with Patrick Sercu)
1st Omnium of Gent, 1 Nov (with Julien Stevens)
1st Omnium of Gent, 11 Nov
2nd Six Days of Ghent (with Patrick Sercu)
2nd Six Days of Antwerp (with Fritz Pfenninger & Peter Post)
1969
1st Madison (with Patrick Sercu), National Championships
1st Six Days of Antwerp (with Peter Post & Patrick Sercu)
1970
3rd Six Days of Antwerp (with Sigi Renz & Theo Verschueren)

Source [30]

Books

  • Pedalare! The Emperor: The Rik Van Looy Story by David Armstrong in 1971, Kennedy Brothers, 34 p. (English) ASIN B0006C6X94
  • The Beast, The Emperor and the Milkman by Harry Pearson in 2019, Bloomsbury Publishing, 289 p. (English) ISBN 9781472945068
  • Rik Van Looy: De Temperamentvolle Wereldkampioen by Marcel Grosjean & Roger Meuleman in 1960. G.P.V., 40 p. (Dutch)
  • Rik Van Looy by Fred De Bruyne in 1963. 42 p. (Dutch)
  • Rik Van Looy: Heerser en Verdeler by Louis Clicteur & Lucien Berghmans in 1966, De Steenbok, 222 p. (Dutch)
  • Ik, Rik! by Rik van Looy & Rob Jans in 1972, Brito, 95 p. (Dutch)
  • Van Looy Story by André Blancke, Jan Cornand & Roger Quick in 1979, Het Volk, 69 p. (Dutch)
  • Rik Van Looy: Monument Voor Een Keizer by Roger De Maertelaere, Guy Crasset & Modest Maertens in 2005. De Eecloonaar, 192 p. (Dutch, French) ISBN 9789077562185
  • Flandria: de 20 Wondere Jaren van een Wielerploeg by Mark van Hamme in 2007, De Eecloonaar, 392 p. ISBN 9789077562338
  • Groene Leeuw: de Wielerploeg die de Keizer Uitdaagde by Jan De Smet and Patrick Feyaerts in 2008, De Eecloonaar, 360 p. ISBN 9789077562512
  • Rik Van Looy 80 by Mark Vanlombeek & Robert Janssens in 2013. Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, 272 p. (Dutch, French) ISBN 9789089313997
  • Van Looy / Les Héros! by Robert Janssens in 2018. Kannibaal Books, 120 p. (Dutch, French) ISBN 9789492677402
  • Rik Van Looy - De Val van een (Wieler)Keizer. 1963 & 1964 Anni Horribiles by Jan De Smet and Patrick Feyaerts, De Eecloonaar, 210 p. (Dutch)
  • ’t Is Rik – Hommage aan de Keizer by Bart Lamers en Thijs Delrue in 2021 (Dutch, French) ISBN 9798201045227

References

  1. ^ Vanysacker, Dries (2011). "Kop 25 - Rik Van Looy (1933): De onconventionele Keizer van Herenthals". Vlaamse Wielerkoppen (in Dutch). Davidsfonds. pp. 203–207. ISBN 9789058268181.
  2. ^ "Rik Van Looy 90. Een terugblik op een uitzonderlijke carrière" [Rik Van Looy 90. A review of an exceptional career]. servicekoers.be (in Dutch). 18 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Rik Van Looy Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Rik van Looy-Les Woodland visits the only man to have won all seven classics". BikeRaceInfo. 9 October 1999.
  5. ^ Van Walleghem, Rik (1993). Eddy Merckx:the greatest cyclist of the 20th century. Pinguin Productions. ISBN 1-884737-72-2.
  6. ^ Sys, Jacques (2020). "Rik Van Looy - De Keizer van Herenthals". Top 1000 van de Belgische wielrenners (in Dutch). Lanoo. pp. 162–166. ISBN 9789401467254.
  7. ^ "De broedertwisten van de Belgische wereldkampioenen". De Tijd (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 October 2002.
  8. ^ "An Audience with the Emperor". cyclinglegends.co.uk.
  9. ^ Janssens, Robert (2018). "De Laatste" [The Last]. Van Looy / Les Héros! (in Dutch). Kannibaal. pp. 110–113. ISBN 9789492677402.
  10. ^ "Rik Van Looy - De Keizer van Herentals". bahamontes.be (in Dutch). 20 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Guy Mortier (80) sprak met Rik Van Looy (90): 'Ik ga nooit naar het graf van mijn vrouw, omdat ik dan het gevoel ga hebben dat ik haar echt kwijt ben'". humo.be (in Dutch). 20 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Dokter Dries Claes (1923-2009): pionier van de integrale en integere wielerbegeleiding". servicekoers.be (in Dutch). 12 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Palmarès Rik van Looy" (in French). Mémoire du Cyclisme.
  14. ^ "Derwael sleept ook Nationale Trofee voor Sportverdienste in de wacht: "Unaniem"" (in Dutch). Sporza.
  15. ^ "Het kon niet anders, na zo'n Tour de France: Wout van Aert winnaar van de Superstrijdlust". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 23 July 2022.
  16. ^ "2017 AIOCC TROPHY".
  17. ^ "The Cycling Hall of Fame: Eddy Merckx". Rouleur.
  18. ^ "Les meilleurs coureurs de tous les temps (1892-2002)" (in French). Mémoire du Cyclisme.
  19. ^ "De Keizer van Herentals". servicekoers.be (in Dutch). 13 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Ereburgers Grobbendonk" (in Dutch). grobbendonk.be.
  21. ^ "Herentals onthult standbeeld voor Rik Van Looy (en Michel Verschueren is erbij)". Sporza (in Dutch). 12 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Grote Prijs Rik Van Looy" (in Dutch). gprikvanlooy.be.
  23. ^ "Borstbeeld Rik Van Looy onthuld in zijn geboortedorp: "Keizer van Herentals én ereburger van Grobbendonk"". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). 12 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Rik Van Looy en Benoni Beheydt schouder aan schouder op muurschildering in museum KOERS in Roeselare" (in Dutch). vrt.be (published 2 December 2022). 25 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Rik Van Looy 90 jaar: feestelijke viering met expo" (in Dutch). nnieuws.be. 19 December 2023.
  26. ^ "All time wins ranking". procyclingstats.com.
  27. ^ "PCS Ranking»All time". procyclingstats. procyclingstats.com. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Overall Ranking 1869-2022". Cycling Ranking.
  29. ^ "Johnny Hoes – Rik Van Looy". hitparade.ch (in German).
  30. ^ "Palmarès de Rik van Looy (Bel)". Mémoire du Cyclisme.
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Rik Van Looy
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