Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lucien Buysse

Lucien Buysse (September 11, 1892 - January 3, 1980) was a Belgian cyclist and a champion of the Tour de France.

Born in Wontergem, Buysse began racing professionally in 1914, when he entered the Tour de France but did not finish. He resumed his career after World War I, entering but abandoning the Tour again in 1919 but placing third in Paris-Roubaix in 1920. In 1923 he completed the Tour de France and finished in eigth place. In the 1924 and 1925 Tours, he rode with the Italian Automoto team led by Ottavio Bottecchia, where he was perhaps the first domestique in the history of the Tour. He placed third in 1924 and second in 1925.

The 1926 Tour was the longest in history (5,745 km), with 17 stages averaging 383 km. Buysse, racing with his two brothers, Jules and Michel, took the yellow jersey from Gustave Van Slembrouck on stage 10 by attacking during a furious storm on the Col d'Aspin in the Pyrenees. He gained almost an hour during the stage over his team leader Bottecchia who then abandoned. Buysse arrived in Paris as the champion. 

Buysse won a total of five stages of the Tour during his career: one in 1923; two in 1925 and two in 1926.

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