"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Stan Ockers
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02-03-07, 09:18 AM
I pop into the "Cycling Hall of Fame " site evey now and then. It is interesting to read the bios on some of the past greats in the sport. Today would have been Stan Ockers 87th birthday. I was intrigued because I noted that he died when he was only 36. So I googled around and discovered he was killed while track racing in Antwerp in 1956. More amazing, I discovered that in 1955 he won the FW and LBL not only in the same year, but on the SAME WEEKEND. Now that was one tough dude. He went on to also win the World Championship RR that year. FWIW Ferdi Kubler won "Le Weekend Ardennais" twice (1951/52). The races were only run on the same weekend from 1950-1964.
02-04-07, 04:36 AM
Stan Ockers was Eddy Merckx's hero when he was growing up.
Another great Belgian from the 50's was Fred De Bruyne. He won nearly every big classic between 1955 and 1959.
02-04-07, 08:33 AM
Stan Ockers was Eddy Merckx's hero when he was growing up. Yes, apparently Eddy took Stan's untimely death very hard.
02-04-07, 08:44 AM
The new book put out by velo press called "Cyclings Golden Age" has nice pics and coverage of Ockers and others of his generation. Great book of the early days. It's amazing how many races those guys did year long - and apparently most of them were very good track riders too!
02-04-07, 09:16 AM
Hmm, sounds like that might be a nice 55th birthday present to myself. :D
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