Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maurice De Waele

Maurice De Waele

Maurice De Waele (1896-1952) Was a Belgian professional bicycle racer during the years 1922 through 1931.  

De Waele raced as an independent professional his first year, 1922. In 1923 he joined the the Wonder Dunlop team and won several major races. One of his victories in 1923 was the Belgian Championship Road Race. 

The 1927 edition of the Tour de France was his first year to participate in the race. He won the thirteenth stage and finished second overall in the final general classification. 

At the 1928 Tour de France De Waele won the eighth stage and finished the race in third place overall in the general classification.

Maurice De Waele is best known for his win of the 1929 Tour de France. He won a stage and held the lead for much of the race. He became sick while wearing the yellow jersey of race leader. The Tour de France organizer, Henri Desgrange, was opposed to team tactics or collusion between riders. Desgrange wanted the race to be an indivual effort. De Waele was sick and suffering. He received help from his Alcyon teammates in the form of blocking and providing a draft for him. De Waele also had to buy help from racers on opposing teams. At the end of the race Henri Desgrange said "The Tour de France has been won by a corpse."

De Waele's final year of racing, 1931, was his fourth time competing in the Tour de France. He finished the tour in fifth place that year. He also won the Tour of Belgium before retiring from professional bicycle racing.

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