Friday, September 9, 2011

Stan Ockers

Stan Ockers rushing to his World Title 1955

Stan Ockers was born February 3rd, 1920 in Borgerhout Belgium. He played football in the Jef Mermans Tubantia youth teams, but later decided to focus entirely on cycling. In 1937 he won the first bloemtuil in Saint-Armand -Puurs, where he and about 70 riders under 17 competed. His first major victory was in 1948 when he won the Tour of Belgium. Some of his notable victories are: Flech Wallone (1953&1955), Liege-Bastone-Liege (1955) and Rome-Naples-Rome (1956).

In 1955 he hit the pinnacle of his career when he became World Champion On The Road. During the championship race there was a break with an eight minute lead. Ochers chased them down and then attacked to a solo victory.

Stan started the Tour de France eight times. He came close several times to winning. Some of his Tour results are: 1948 - 11th place, 1950 - 2nd place, 1951 - 5th place, 1952 - 2nd place, 1956 - 8th place. In 1955 and 1956 we won the points for the green jersey.

Stan Ockers fell during a race on the velodrome in Atnwerp in front of thousands of fans. It appeared a normal accident, but he hit his head on the track surface and died on Monday October 1st, 1956.

A monument was erected on the slopes of Les Forges in the Belgian Ardennes in 1957. Stan is carved in stone forever on his bicycle

Ockers celebrating a victory

Stan Ockers training shortly before his fatal accident

Stan Ockers carved in stone riding his bicycle forever

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