Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mr. Paris-Roubaix - Roger De Vlaeminck

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In 1973, with thirty stitches in an injured left arm from a previous accident, Roger De Vlaeminck splashes through a wet and muddy Paris-Roubaix.

Roger De Vlaeminck is Mr. Paris-Roubaix! He earned the nickname by winning this tough classic race four times. He raced Paris-Roubaix fourteen times starting in 1969 till 1982. Thirteen of those times he finished in the top seven placings and four of those times he came in second. Only once, in 1980, did he abandon the race.

As an amateur he turned down an offer to race on the same team as Eddy Merckx.
De Vlaeminck preferred to keep his distance from Merckx and fight the great champion head on.

De Vlaeminck was a workaholic when it came to training. He made sure that he did more work than anyone else. When training for Paris-Roubaix he would sometimes ride up to 430 Kilometers (over 267 miles) in a single day.

Roger made a comeback in cyclo-cross in 1986. His finances exhausted he got support in his return to racing from his fiercest competition, Eddy Merckx!

Roger De Vlaeminck and Eddy Merckx

Highlights of Roger De Vlaeminck's wins:
Paris-Roubaix: 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977
Belgian Championship: 1969 and 1981
Liege-Bastogne-Liege: 1970
Milan-San Remo: 1973, 1978, and 1979
Tour of Lombardy: 1974 and 1976
Tour of Flanders: 1977
Championship of Zurich: 1975
Fleche Wallonne: 1971
Giro del Lazio: 1975 and 1976
Pais-Brussels: 1981
Milan-Turin: 1972 and 1974
Tour of Piedmont: 1977
Het Volk: 1969 and 1979
Tour of Switzerland: 1975
Tirreno-Adriatico: 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977
Four Days of Dunkirk: 1971
Tour of Sicily: 1974
World Cyclo-Cross Championship:1975

The video below is at Mr. Paris-Roubaix's 60th birthday celebration. Roger De Vlaeminck was born August 24th, 1947 in Eeklo, Belgium. Unlike many other ex-racers Roger still rides and is very fit.

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