With classics season looming and Cross World Championships this weekend, we thought we’d talk a bit about one of the baddest, most charming, most talented, best looking dudes to ever ride a bike.
Roger de Vlaeminck
This is a Belgian who was only interested in soccer, right up until the time that his older brother, Erik, became a pro rider. Whether it was his competitive spirit, or something entirely else, Roger immediately picked up his bike and said, “Yeah, that sounds good. I think I’ll be a professional cyclist too.”
During his first amateur road racing season in 1965, Roger only managed to win one race.
“He’s no Erik,” the neighbors would comment.
During his second season, he won 25 times.
“Look at him go,” the neighbors now cooed.
De Vlaeminck continued to chase his brother, riding cyclocross in the winter and road in the summer. In 1968 he won the World Amateur Cyclocross championships in Luxembourg, the very same week that his brother became the World Professional Cyclocross champion.
By this point the neighbors were sick to death of the De Vlaemincks.
“They go away for a weekend, and when they come back they’re Kings of the World!?”