Erik De Vlaeminck

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Erik De Vlaeminck
Erik de Vlaeminck (cropped).jpg
De Vlaeminck at the 1970 Amstel Gold Race
Personal information
Full nameErik De Vlaeminck
Born(1945-03-23)23 March 1945
Eeklo, Belgium
Died4 December 2015(2015-12-04) (aged 70)
Eeklo, Belgium
Team information
Major wins
World Cyclo-cross Champion
(1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973)

Belgian National Cyclo-cross Champion

(1967, 1969, 1971, 1972)

Tour of Belgium

General Classification (1969)

Erik De Vlaeminck (23 March 1945 − 4 December 2015) was a Belgian cyclist who became cyclo-cross world-champion seven times (in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973), a record equalled only by Marianne Vos.

Cyclo-cross bicycle sport

Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter, and consist of many laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Marianne Vos Dutch cyclo-cross, road bicycle racer and track racer

Marianne Vos is a Dutch cyclo-cross, road bicycle racer, mountain bike racer and track racer, who currently rides for UCI Women's Team CCC Liv. Vos has drawn comparison to Eddy Merckx as being "the finest cyclist of [her] generation".


Professional career

De Vlaeminck missed 1967 only because his bike was damaged during the race. He also became Belgian champion four times (1967, 1969, 1971, 1972) at a time when there were so many good Belgian riders that the domestic championship was often harder than the world-championship.

He also performed creditably in road races, including the Tour de France. In 1969 he won the Tour of Belgium and a stage in the Tour de France.

Tour de France Cycling competition

The Tour de France is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days.

The Tour of Belgium is a five-day bicycle race which is held annually in Belgium.

De Vlaeminck never failed a drugs test in his racing career but was treated after it for amphetamine addiction. Many stories circulate about his supposed wild behaviour after races and after his career was over. When he returned to racing, the Belgian federation would offer him a licence for only a day at a time until it saw how his life would progress. De Vlaeminck subsequently refused to speak about this period of his life.

His re-establishment was complete, however, because he became the national cyclo-cross coach and led Belgium to a dominating period of international success. He always complained, however, that while cyclo-cross brought Belgium its world championship medals, it was to road racing that the bulk of the funds were given.

Personal life

De Vlaeminck was the brother of Roger De Vlaeminck. His son Geert died of a heart attack in a cyclo-cross race while his father was watching.

Roger De Vlaeminck Belgian cyclist

Roger De Vlaeminck 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". 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”.

In later life, De Vlaeminck had Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. He died on 4 December 2015 at the age of 70. [1]

Parkinsons disease long-term degenerative neurological disorder that mainly affects movement

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. As the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become increasingly common. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".

Alzheimers disease Progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioural issues. As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

Major results

The Belgian National Cyclo-cross Championships were first held in 1910, and have been held annually since 1921 by the Royal Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB/RLVB). Races are run for elite men, elite women, under 23 men, junior men, juvenile men, various masters categories and by other organisations catering for veteran riders.

1968 Tour de France

The 1968 Tour de France was the 55th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between 27 June and 21 July, with 22 stages covering a distance of 4,492 km (2,791 mi). Eleven national teams of 10 riders competed, with three French teams, two Belgian teams and one from Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, and a combined Swiss/Luxembourgian team.

La Flèche Wallonne cycling road race held in Wallonia, Belgium

La Flèche Wallonne is a major men's professional cycle road race held in April each year in Wallonia, Belgium.

See also

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  1. "Zevenvoudig wereldkampioen veldrijden Eric De Vlaeminck is overleden". sporza.