Roger De Vlaeminck

Roger De Vlaeminck

A man wearing a black jacket

De Vlaeminck at the 2012 World Ports Classic
Personal information
Full name Roger De Vlaeminck
Nickname The Gypsy[1]
Born (1947-08-24) 24 August 1947
Eeklo, East Flanders, Belgium
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road/Cyclo-cross
Role Rider
Rider type Classics specialist
Professional team(s)
1969–1971 Flandria-De Clerck-Krüger
1972 Dreher
1973–1977 Brooklyn
1978 Sanson
1979 Gis Gelati
1980 Boule d'Or
1981–1982 DAF Trucks-Cote d'Or-Gazelle
1983 Gios
1984 Gis-Tuc Lu
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
1 individual stage (1970)
Giro d'Italia
Points classification (1972, 1974, 1975)
22 individual stages (1972-1979)
Vuelta a España
1 individual stage (1984)

Stage races

Tirreno–Adriatico (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977)

One-day races and Classics

Omloop Het Volk (1969, 1979)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1970)
Paris–Roubaix (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977)
Milan–San Remo (1973, 1978, 1979)
Giro di Lombardia (1974, 1976)
Tour of Flanders (1977)
National Road Race Championships (1969, 1981)


World Cyclo-cross Championships (1975)
National Cyclo-cross Championships (1974, 1975, 1978)

Roger De Vlaeminck (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɔʒɛi də ˈvlamɪnk];[2] born 24 August 1947) 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".[1] 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” (English: “Mr. Paris–Roubaix“).

Early life and amateur career

De Vlaeminck was born on 24 August 1947 in the East Flanders town of Eeklo,[3] His first love was football. At the age of 16 he debuted for F.C. Eeklo. He could have made a career in the sport, however his elder brother Erik was having success as a pro cyclist and this persuaded Roger to try cycling.[4] He raced as a junior in 1965, gaining one win, but 1966 saw 25 victories. Roger and Erik spent their winters riding cyclo-cross and in 1968 in Luxembourg Erik became world professional champion and Roger the amateur champion on the same day. Roger eventually took the professional title in 1975.

In 1968 De Vlaeminck rode the road race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico and finished 18th.[5]

Professional career

A cyclist riding on a cobbled road
De Vlaeminck attempting to defend his Tour of Flanders title in 1978

De Vlaeminck turned professional at the start of the 1969 season with Flandria-Declerck and won the Omloop "Het Volk" in his first race. De Vlaeminck’s career ran parallel with Eddy Merckx and he battled for ascendancy with Merckx throughout his career. De Vlaeminck rode Paris–Roubaix on 14 occasions, winning four times (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977), finished second four times, third once, fifth once, sixth once, seventh twice and abandoned only in 1980. His skill as a cyclo-cross rider made him an expert on the cobbles of northern France which the race crosses. De Vlaeminck used the early season Italian stage race Tirreno–Adriatico as training for the spring classics. He dominated the race between 1972 and 1977, winning on six occasions and taking 15 stages.

De Vlaeminck is one of only three riders to have won all five 'Monuments of Cycling' (i.e., Milan–San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia). The other two are fellow Belgians Rik van Looy and Eddy Merckx. The only major one-day race he did not win was the world road race championship, his best performance was second to Dutchman Hennie Kuiper in 1975. He rode three Tour de France, winning stage 6 in 1970 between Amiens and Valenciennes. He took the points jersey in the Giro d'Italia on three occasions as well as 22 stages over including seven stages in 1975. He took a stage win in the Vuelta a España in his final season in 1984. His career lasted 15 years (retiring in 1984) and he had 257 victories.


Three men riding bicycles
De Vlaeminck (left) with former professional cyclists Etienne De Wilde and Lucien Van Impe at a criterium in Aalst, Belgium in 2008

De Vlaeminck, who lives on a farm in Kaprijke, is still in cycling. He has been coaching cyclo-cross riders. In April 2004 he quit his job as coach to the John Saey-Deschacht team in Belgium to spend more time with his family, However he was tempted back to the sport in November 2004 as advisor to the Zimbabwe team as it prepared for the world championship in St. Wendel, Germany, at the end of January 2005.

De Vlaeminck is known for firm opinions about cycling and is often consulted by journalists. In particular, he criticizes the trend to have multiple leaders in a team. That, he says, means the best racers share important races between them. De Vlaeminck is also known for his harsh opinion of Tom Boonen, calling him unworthy of equaling his Paris-Roubaix record of 4 wins, claiming cycling isn't as hard as it used to be. This led to the meme "In den tijd van Roger De Vlaeminck ..." ("in the days of Roger De Vlaeminck") where De Vlaeminck was attributed to doing all kinds of unrealistic stuff.[6]

Career achievements

Major results


1st Stage 4 Amateur Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 4 Tour de la province de Namur
7th Amateur Road race, Road World Championships
1st Amateur Cyclo-cross World Championships
1st Amateur National Road Race Championships
1st Overall Amateur Tour of Belgium
1st Stage 8
1st La Flèche Ardennaise
10th Overall Tour de l'Avenir
1st Points classification
1st Stages 10a & 10b
1st Omloop Het Volk
1st National Road Race Championships
1st Brussels–Ingooigem
1st Stage 3 Tour of Belgium
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Züri-Metzgete
5th Paris–Roubaix
6th La Flèche Wallonne
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Stage 6 Tour de France
1st Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
1st Grote Scheldeprijs
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Omloop van het Houtland
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
5th Paris–Tours
8th Omloop Het Volk
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Overall Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stage 2
1st Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
1st E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
1st Six Days of Ghent (with Patrick Sercu)
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
3rd Brabantse Pijl
4th Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 3
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Giro di Lombardia
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 4 & 5b
1st Milano–Torino
1st Coppa Placci
1st Gran Premio Città di Camaiore
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Madison, National Track Championships (with Patrick Sercu)
3rd Grand Prix Pino Cerami
4th Paris–Tours
4th Trofeo Laigueglia
7th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stage 6, 15, 18 & 19a
10th Sassari–Cagliari
1st Milan–San Remo
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 11 & 13
2nd Points classification
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5a
1st Giro di Toscana
1st Trofeo Matteotti
1st Boucles de l'Aulne
2nd Giro di Lombardia
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Coppa Bernocchi
2nd Omloop Het Volk
2nd Trofeo Laigueglia
3rd Milano–Torino
4th Coppa Placci
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Brabantse Pijl
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Giro di Lombardia
Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stage 4
4th Traguardi tricolori classification
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5
1st Giro del Veneto
1st Milano–Torino
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
1st Coppa Placci
1st Giro della Sicilia
1st Stage 2 Giro di Puglia
1st National Cyclo-cross Championships
2nd Cyclo-cross World Championships
2nd Giro dell'Emilia
2nd Paris-Bruxelles
2nd La Flèche Wallonne
2nd Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
3rd Milan–San Remo
3rd Coppa Agostoni
3rd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Grand Prix de Wallonie
4th Giro del Lazio
7th Paris–Tours
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Overall Tour de Suisse
1st Points classification
1st Prologue & Stages 1, 3, 5, 9 & 10
1st Cyclo-cross World Championships
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 2, 4 & 5
1st Züri-Metzgete
1st Coppa Agostoni
1st Giro del Lazio
1st Trofeo Pantalica
1st Critérium des As
1st National Cyclo-cross Championships
2nd Road race, Road World Championships
2nd Paris–Tours
2nd Milano–Torino
2nd Druivenkoers Overijse
2nd Trofeo Laigueglia
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
4th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Points classification
1st Stages 4, 6, 7b, 10, 11, 18 & 20
5th Mountains classification
4th Giro di Lombardia
4th Grote Scheldeprijs
4th Omloop Het Volk
5th Tre Valli Varesine
7th Giro dell'Emilia
8th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Giro di Lombardia
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 5, 8 & 16
1st Giro dell'Emilia
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 3, 4 & 5b
1st Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Prologue & Stages 2 & 4
1st Giro del Lazio
1st Overall Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1b & 5
1st Coppa Agostoni
1st Gran Premio di Montelupo
1st Stage 3 Giro di Puglia
2nd Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Stage 5a
2nd Tre Valli Varesine
2nd Grote Scheldeprijs
2nd Züri-Metzgete
3rd Paris–Roubaix
4th Tour of Flanders
5th Coppa Placci
6th Gent–Wevelgem
6th E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
7th Milan–San Remo
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Tour of Flanders
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stages 2 & 3
1st Giro del Piemonte
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
4th Paris–Tours
4th Paris–Bruxelles
6th Amstel Gold Race
6th Coppa Bernocchi
8th Omloop Het Volk
7th Tre Valli Varesine
1st Milan–San Remo
1st Druivenkoers Overijse
Giro di Sardegna
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1 & 5
1st Giro del Friuli
1st Stage 4 Giro di Puglia
1st National Cyclo-cross Championships
2nd Paris–Roubaix
3rd Giro del Lazio
5th Coppa Agostoni
6th Gent–Wevelgem
8th Züri-Metzgete
8th Brabantse Pijl
10th Tour of Flanders
10th Road race, Road World Championships
1st Milan–San Remo
Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 2, 9 & 12
1st Omloop Het Volk
Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stages 4a & 5b
1st Overall Giro di Puglia
1st Stages 1, 2 & 3
1st Stage 5a Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Milano–Vignola
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd Gent–Wevelgem
3rd Overall Giro del Trentino
1st Stage 1
3rd Tre Valli Varesine
4th Züri-Metzgete
7th Coppa Ugo Agostoni
10th Road race, Road World Championships
1st Overall Vuelta a Mallorca
1st Prologue & Stages 1 & 4
1st Stages 1 & 2
1st Giro di Sardegna
1st Stages 1, 2a, 4 & 5
1st Trofeo Laigueglia
1st Stage 1 Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Profronde van Stiphout
4th Tour of Flanders
5th Milan–San Remo
5th Omloop Het Volk
5th Coppa Bernocchi
6th Grote Scheldeprijs
6th Coppa Agostoni
7th Road race, World Road Championships
1st Paris–Brussels
1st National Road Race Championships
1st Brabantse Pijl
Tour de Suisse
1st Stages 2 & 3a
1st Stages 2a & 4
1st Profronde van Stiphout
2nd Milan–San Remo
2nd Paris–Roubaix
2nd Amstel Gold Race
2nd Overall Super Prestige Pernod International
3rd Trofeo Laigueglia
5th Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
6th Tour of Flanders
1st Six Days of Antwerp (with Patrick Sercu)
2nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
6th Paris–Roubaix
7th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
7th Overall Three Days of De Panne
7th Trofeo Laigueglia
1st Stage 8 Vuelta a España
1st Giro di Campania
3rd Milano–Torino

Monuments results timeline


Monument 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
Milan–San Remo 2 12 1 3 31 7 2 1 1 5 2 13
Tour of Flanders 13 17 30 11 4 1 10 12 4 6 25
Paris–Roubaix 5 2 7 1 7 1 1 3 1 2 2 2 6
Liège–Bastogne–Liège 22 1 11 8 4 7
Giro di Lombardia 8 2 1 4 1 15 15

See also


  1. 1 2 Fotheringham 2003, p. 63.
  2. "Pronunciation: Roger De Vlaeminck". Forvo. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Roger De Vlaeminck". Cycling Archives. de Wielersite. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. Dobbelsten, Rob Van Den (14 February 1998). "Welk een Kampioen mijne heren'" [What an egg and fine gentlemen]. Leidsch Dagblad (in Dutch). Leiden, Netherlands. p. 41. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  5. "Roger De Vlaeminck Olympic Results". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. "De Vlaeminck: Boonen's Paris-Roubaix rivals were "third rate"". Bath, UK: Future plc. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Roger De Vlaeminck (Belgium)". Québec, Canada: Info Média Conseil. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Palmarès de Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)" [Awards of Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)]. Memoire du cyclisme (in French). Retrieved 8 November 2013.


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