“Walter Godefroot is the only one of my adversaries who I never beat in a direct fight for victory” - Eddy Merckx
Walter Godefroot aka The Bulldog of Belgium aka The Bulldog of Flanders amassed 155 professional victories from 1965 until his retirement from racing in 1979. Although a specialist in one-day classics, Godefroot was like many of his talented contemporaries and could shine in most disciplines including Grand Tours and track racing. His ten classics victories included three of the ‘five monuments' (Liege-Bastogne-Liege – 1967, Paris-Roubaix – 1969 and Tour of Flanders – 1968 and 1978). In the Grand Tours he claimed 10 Tour de France stage victories, one Giro stage, two Vuelta stages and three Tour de Suisse stages. Of these the final stage of the 1975 TdF is the most historic as he was the first rider to win on the Champs-Élysées. In 1970 he won the Green Points Jersey of the TdF. Upon his retirement from racing he moved into the role of team director. Most notably with T-Mobile during the Ulrich years and more recently with Team Astana in 2007.
This frame is a mystery. There is no official record of Walter Godefroot ever having his own marquee. Although, I did find an older thread from a Belgian gentleman who found a Godefroot branded road frame. A longtime rider of Colnago frames, the clover cut-outs are of note. Did Godefroot receive parts from Colnago to build a line of bikes following Merckx's post-racing relationshiop with Ugo De Rosa? Possibly crafted by a Belgian builder?
Godefroot owns and operates a successful bike shop near Gent, Belgium. I plan on emailing them a couple of photos in hopes of unraveling some of the secrets of the Godefroot name. Stay tuned.