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Roger De Vlaeminck

Roger De Vlaeminck
De Vlaeminck in 1972
Personal information
Full nameRoger De Vlaeminck
NicknameThe Gypsy[1]
Born (1947-08-24) 24 August 1947 (age 76)
Eeklo, East Flanders, Belgium
Team information
Current teamRetired
DisciplineRoad
Cyclo-cross
RoleRider
Rider typeClassics specialist
Professional teams
1969–1971Flandria–De Clerck–Krüger
1972Dreher
1973–1977Brooklyn
1978Sanson–Campagnolo
1979Gis Gelati
1980Boule d'Or–Studio Casa
1981–1982DAF Trucks–Côte d'Or
1983Gios–Clement
1984Gis Gelati–Tuc Lu
Major wins
Cyclo-cross
World Championships (1975)
National Championships (1974, 1975, 1978)
Road

Grand Tours

Tour de France
1 individual stage (1970)
Giro d'Italia
Points classification (1972, 1974, 1975)
22 individual stages (1972–1979)
Vuelta a España
1 individual stage (1984)

Stage races

Four Days of Dunkirk (1971, 1979)
Tirreno–Adriatico (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977)
Giro di Sicilia (1974)
Tour de Suisse (1975)
Giro di Sardegna (1976, 1980)
Giro di Puglia (1979)
Vuelta a Mallorca (1980)

One-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championships (1969, 1981)
Omloop Het Volk (1969, 1979)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1970)
Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne (1970, 1971)
La Flèche Wallonne (1971)
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen (1971)
Paris–Roubaix (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977)
Milano–Torino (1972, 1974)
Milan–San Remo (1973, 1978, 1979)
Giro di Toscana (1973)
Giro di Lombardia (1974, 1976)
Tour of Flanders (1977)
Medal record
Representing  Belgium
Men's cyclo-cross
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1975 Melchnau Elite
Silver medal – second place 1974 Bera Elite
Men's road bicycle racing
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1975 Yvoir Elite road race

Roger De Vlaeminck (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɔʒe ˈvlamɪŋk];[2] born 24 August 1947) is a Belgian former professional racing cyclist. He was described by Rik Van Looy as "The most talented and the only real classics rider of his generation".[1] Nicknamed "The Gypsy" because he was born into a family of traveling clothiers, he is known for exploits in the cobbled classic Paris–Roubaix race, but his performances in other "Monument" races gave him a record that few can match. His record in Paris–Roubaix earned him another nickname, "Monsieur Paris–Roubaix".

Early life and amateur career

De Vlaeminck was born on 24 August 1947 in the East Flanders town of Eeklo,[3] His first love was football. At the age of 16 he debuted for F.C. Eeklo. He could have made a career in the sport, however his elder brother Erik was having success as a pro cyclist and this persuaded Roger to try cycling.[4] He raced as a junior in 1965, gaining one win, but 1966 saw 25 victories. Roger and Erik spent their winters riding cyclo-cross. In Luxembourg in 1968, Erik became world professional champion and Roger the amateur champion on the same day. Roger eventually took the professional title in 1975.[3]

In 1968 De Vlaeminck rode the road race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico and finished 18th.[5]

Professional career

A cyclist riding on a cobbled road
De Vlaeminck attempting to defend his Tour of Flanders title in 1978

De Vlaeminck turned professional at the start of the 1969 season with Flandria-Declerck and won the Omloop "Het Volk" in his first race. De Vlaeminck's career ran parallel with Eddy Merckx and he battled for ascendancy with Merckx throughout his career. De Vlaeminck rode Paris–Roubaix on 14 occasions, winning four times (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977), finished second four times, third once, fifth once, sixth once, seventh twice and abandoned only in 1980. His skills as a cyclo-cross rider made him an expert on the cobbles of northern France which the race crosses. De Vlaeminck used the early season Italian stage race Tirreno–Adriatico as training for the spring classics. He dominated the race between 1972 and 1977, winning every edition and taking 15 stages. His six victories are the most of all time and no other rider has won the race more than twice.[6]

De Vlaeminck is one of only three riders to have won all five 'Monuments of Cycling' (i.e., Milan–San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia). The other two are fellow Belgians Rik van Looy and Eddy Merckx. In total De Vlaeminck won 11 Monument races, and finished in the top ten on an additional 25 occasions.[7] The only major one-day race he did not win was the world road race championship, his best performance was second to Dutchman Hennie Kuiper in 1975.

He rode three Tours de France, winning stage 6 in 1970 between Amiens and Valenciennes. De Vlaeminck took the points jersey in the Giro d'Italia on three occasions as well as 22 stages overall including seven stages in 1975. He took a stage win in the Vuelta a España in his final season in 1984. His career lasted 15 years and he eventually had 259 road race victories. He always kept active in cyclo-cross, resulting in 70 cyclo-cross victories and a world title in 1975. De Vlaeminck also had a few successes on track, with several podium finishes in Six-Day races and a national Madison title in 1972 alongside Patrick Sercu.[8] This makes him the only cyclist who won a Belgian national championship in road cycling, cyclo-cross and track cycling.

Rivalry with Merckx

In 1970, Rik Van Looy ended his career and many fans then focused on Roger De Vlaeminck as his successor. Another young rider who could succeed Van Looy was Eddy Merckx. When the professional careers of both riders had just started, De Vlaeminck always wanted to beat Merckx. He was even disappointed if someone else came in second, because then people could say he had no opposition. After racing against each other for a number of years, the two started to think differently about each other. De Vlaeminck gained respect for Merckx's performance and Merckx appreciated that his competitor always fought him with an open mind.

De Vlaeminck also believes that there were others who benefited from the competition between him and Merckx. He often restricted his competitor, but this cost so much strength that someone else took advantage of it. De Vlaeminck also says that he could have won some races if Merckx had not participated, but in other races he drove better because he never wanted to be inferior to his competitor.

Ultimately, De Vlaeminck named his son Eddy De Vlaeminck, after his competitor.[9]

Post-career

Three men riding bicycles
De Vlaeminck (left) with former professional cyclists Etienne De Wilde and Lucien Van Impe at a criterium in Aalst, Belgium in 2008

De Vlaeminck, who lives on a farm in Kaprijke, is still in cycling. He has been coaching cyclo-cross riders. In April 2004 he quit his job as coach to the John Saey-Deschacht team in Belgium to spend more time with his family, However he was tempted back to the sport in November 2004 as advisor to the Zimbabwe team as it prepared for the world championship in St. Wendel, Germany, at the end of January 2005.

De Vlaeminck is known for firm opinions about cycling and is often consulted by journalists. In particular, he criticizes the trend to have multiple leaders in a team. That, he says, means the best racers share important races between them.[citation needed] De Vlaeminck is also known for his harsh opinion of Tom Boonen, calling him unworthy of equaling his Paris–Roubaix record of 4 wins, claiming cycling is not as hard as it used to be. This led to the meme "In den tijd van Roger De Vlaeminck ..." ("in the days of Roger De Vlaeminck") where De Vlaeminck was attributed to doing all kinds of unrealistic stuff.[10]

Major results

Cyclo-cross

1967
2nd National Championships
1968
1st UCI World Amateur Championships
1st National Amateur Championships
1st Middelkerke
1969
1st National Amateur Championships
1st Koksijde
2nd UCI World Amateur Championships
2nd National Championships
1970
1st Overijse
3rd Niel
1972
1st Koksijde
1st Overijse
1974
1st National Championships
1st Overijse
2nd UCI World Championships
1975
1st UCI World Championships
1st National Championships
3rd Overijse
1978
1st National Championships
1st Overijse
1979
1st Diegem
2nd National Championships
1981
1st Diegem

Road

1967
1st Stage 4 Amateur Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 4 Tour de la province de Namur
3rd Road race, National Amateur Championships
7th Road race, UCI World Amateur Championships
1968
1st Road race, National Amateur Championships
1st Overall Amateur Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 8
1st La Flèche Ardennaise
10th Overall Tour de l'Avenir
1st Points classification
1st Stages 10a & 10b
1969
1st Road race, National Championships
1st Omloop Het Volk
1st Brussels–Ingooigem
1st Stage 3 Tour of Belgium
1st Omloop Schelde-Durme
1st LuK Challenge Chrono (with Herman Vanspringel)
1st Kampioenschap van Oost-Vlaanderen
1st Ronde van West-Vlaanderen
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
2nd Omloop der Zennevallei
2nd Grote Prijs Jef Scherens
3rd GP Stad Vilvoorde
3rd Züri–Metzgete
3rd Overall Paris-Luxembourg
3rd Wattrelos-Meulebeke
5th Paris–Roubaix
6th La Flèche Wallonne
1970
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
1st Grote Scheldeprijs
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Omloop van het Houtland
1st Stage 6 Tour de France
1st Geraardsbergen-Viane
1st Prologue (TTT) Four Days of Dunkirk
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
3rd Wattrelos-Meulebeke
3rd GP Roeselare
4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Points classification
1st Stage 4
5th Paris–Tours
8th Omloop Het Volk
1971
1st Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stage 2
Tour de Suisse
1st Points classification
1st Stage 3
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
1st Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
1st Omloop van het Zuidwesten
Tour de la Nouvelle France
1st Stage 1 & 4
1st Omloop van de Westkust
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
1st Mountains classification
1st Stage 1 & 6
3rd Brabantse Pijl
4th Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 3
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Giro di Lombardia
1972
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 4 & 5b
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Milano–Torino
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Coppa Placci
1st Gran Premio Città di Camaiore
1st Halse Pijl
1st Stage 1 Giro di Sardegna
3rd Grand Prix Pino Cerami
4th Paris–Tours
4th Trofeo Laigueglia
7th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stages 6, 15, 18 & 19a
10th Sassari-Cagliari
1973
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Mountains classification
1st Stage 5a
1st Milan–San Remo
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 11 & 13
1st Giro di Toscana
1st Trofeo Matteotti
1st Boucles de l'Aulne
1st Omloop van het Zuidwesten
1st Grand Prix de Monaco
2nd Giro di Lombardia
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Coppa Bernocchi
2nd Coppa Sabatini
2nd Omloop Het Volk
2nd Trofeo Laigueglia
2nd Omloop der Zennevallei
3rd Omloop van de Westkust
3rd Milano–Torino
4th Coppa Placci
6th Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stage 3 & 6
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Brabantse Pijl
1974
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Giro di Sicilia
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Giro di Lombardia
Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stage 4
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Giro del Veneto
1st Milano–Torino
1st Coppa Placci
1st Stage 2 Giro di Puglia
2nd Cronostafetta
2nd GP Montelupo
2nd Giro dell'Emilia
2nd Ronde van Limburg
2nd Paris–Brussels
2nd La Flèche Wallonne
2nd Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
3rd Milan–San Remo
3rd Boucles de l'Aulne
3rd Coppa Ugo Agostoni
3rd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Grand Prix de Wallonie
3rd Trofeo Baracchi (with Eddy Merckx)
3rd Gran Premio di Lugano
3rd Grand Prix de Wallonie
4th Giro del Lazio
7th Paris–Tours
1975
1st Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Points classification
1st Prologue & Stages 1, 3, 5, 9 & 10 (ITT)
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 2, 4 & 5
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Züri–Metzgete
1st Coppa Ugo Agostoni
1st GP Montelupo
1st Giro del Lazio
1st Trofeo Pantalica
1st Critérium des As
1st GP Industria & Artigianato di Larciano
1st Omloop van Neeroeteren
1st Heusden Koers
2nd Road race, UCI World Championships
2nd Grote Prijs Marcel Kint
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Milano–Torino
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
3rd Druivenkoers Overijse
3rd Trofeo Laigueglia
3rd Giro di Toscana
3rd Paris–Tours
3rd Milano–Torino
4th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stages 4, 6, 7b, 10, 11, 18 & 20
4th Giro di Lombardia
4th Grote Scheldeprijs
4th Omloop Het Volk
5th Tre Valli Varesine
7th Giro dell'Emilia
8th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
10th Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1, 4 & 6
1976
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Points classification
1st Stages 3, 4 & 5b
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1b & 5
1st Giro di Lombardia
1st Giro dell'Emilia
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 5, 8 & 16
1st Giro del Lazio
1st Coppa Ugo Agostoni
1st GP Montelupo
1st Sassari-Cagliari
1st Stage 3 Giro di Puglia
2nd Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Points classification
1st Stage 5a
2nd Giro delle Marche
2nd Tre Valli Varesine
2nd Grote Scheldeprijs
2nd Züri–Metzgete
2nd Trofeo Pantalica
3rd Paris–Roubaix
3rd Rund um den Henninger Turm
3rd Giro di Campania
4th Tour of Flanders
5th Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Points classification
1st Prologue & Stages 2 & 4
5th Coppa Placci
6th Gent–Wevelgem
6th E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
7th Milan–San Remo
1977
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 2 & 3
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Tour of Flanders
1st Giro del Piemonte
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Giro del Veneto
2nd Giro di Toscana
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
2nd Challenge Gan
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
4th Paris–Tours
4th Paris–Brussels
6th Amstel Gold Race
6th Coppa Bernocchi
8th Omloop Het Volk
7th Tre Valli Varesine
1978
1st Milan–San Remo
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Giro del Friuli
Giro di Sardegna
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1 & 5
1st Stage 4 Giro di Puglia
1st Sassari-Cagliari
2nd Boucles de l'Aulne
2nd Paris–Roubaix
3rd Giro del Lazio
5th Coppa Ugo Agostoni
6th Gent–Wevelgem
8th Züri–Metzgete
8th Brabantse Pijl
10th Tour of Flanders
10th Road race, UCI World Championships
1979
1st Overall Giro di Puglia
1st Stages 1, 2 & 3
1st Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stages 4a & 5b
1st Milan–San Remo
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 9 & 12
1st Omloop Het Volk
1st Milano–Vignola
1st Erpe-Mere
1st Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli
2nd Giro del Friuli
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Overall Giro del Trentino
1st Stage 1
3rd Tre Valli Varesine
4th Züri–Metzgete
6th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5a
7th Coppa Ugo Agostoni
10th Road race, UCI World Championships
1980
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1, 2a, 4 & 5
1st Overall Vuelta a Mallorca
1st Prologue & Stages 1 & 4
Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 1 & 2
Deutschland Tour
1st Stages 1 & 2
1st Trofeo Laigueglia
1st Profronde van Stiphout
1st Heusden Koers
1st Stage 1 Four Days of Dunkirk
2nd Liedekerkse Pijl
4th Tour of Flanders
5th Milan–San Remo
5th Omloop Het Volk
5th Coppa Bernocchi
6th Grote Scheldeprijs
6th Coppa Ugo Agostoni
7th Road race, UCI World Championships
1981
1st Road race, National Championships
Tour de Suisse
1st Stages 2 & 3a
Paris–Nice
1st Stages 2a & 4
1st Paris–Brussels
1st Brabantse Pijl
1st Profronde van Stiphout
1st Omloop van de Grensstreek
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd Amstel Gold Race
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
3rd Trofeo Laigueglia
5th Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
6th Tour of Flanders
1982
2nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
6th Paris–Roubaix
7th Overall Three Days of De Panne
7th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
7th Trofeo Laigueglia
1983
2nd GP Dr. Eugeen Roggeman
1984
1st Stage 8 Vuelta a España
1st Giro di Campania
1st Cronostafetta
1st Stage 5 Coppi e Bartali
3rd Milano–Torino
3rd Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria

Monuments results timeline

Source:[6][8]

Monument 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
Milan–San Remo 2 12 1 3 31 7 2 1 1 5 2 13
Tour of Flanders 13 17 30 11 4 1 10 12 4 6 25
Paris–Roubaix 5 2 7 1 7 1 1 3 1 2 2 2 6
Liège–Bastogne–Liège 22 1 11 8 4 7
Giro di Lombardia 8 2 1 4 1 15 15

Track

Records

Awards and honours

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Fotheringham 2003, p. 63.
  2. ^ "Pronunciation: Roger De Vlaeminck". Forvo. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Roger De Vlaeminck". Cycling Archives. de Wielersite. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. ^ Dobbelsten, Rob Van Den (14 February 1998). "Welk een Kampioen mijne heren'" [What a champion, gentlemen]. Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands. p. 41. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Roger De Vlaeminck Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Roger De Vlaeminck (Belgium)". The-Sports.org. Québec, Canada: Info Média Conseil. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  7. ^ Rider Bio, Pro cycling stats (23 May 2022). "Rider Roger De Vlaeminck". procyclingstats.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Palmarès de Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)" [Awards of Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)]. Memoire du cyclisme (in French). Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  9. ^ "De Vlaeminck: "Van Aert is eerste sinds Merckx die ik zo bewonder"". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). 30 September 2015.
  10. ^ "De Vlaeminck: Boonen's Paris–Roubaix rivals were "third rate"". Cyclingnews.com. Bath, UK. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. ^ "All time wins ranking".
  12. ^ "Overall Ranking 1869-2022". Cycling Ranking.

References

Further reading

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Roger De Vlaeminck
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