De Vlaeminck holds forth

De Vlaeminck likes Cancellara for Roubaix:

“He can win on Sunday by dropping Boonen. I like Cancellara, he attacks and races with panache. Everyone rode against him at Flanders, even the mechanics of the other teams who wouldn’t give him a bottle. That was scandalous. But he was the strongest. Boonen is a good rider but he’s not as strong as he once was.”

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/de-vlaeminck-picks-cancellara-as-his-paris-roubaix-heir.

The Gypsy doesn’t his mince words, does he?

“I was a bandit. If Boonen is the God of Belgian cycling, then I’m the devil.

“Our generation was classier, too. Look at Saronni? He won the Giro at just 21. We always raced to get a result and me and Merckx fought even for the criteriums. These days they use 50 races a year as training. We were more complete and could win in a sprint, on a climb or in a time trial. And there were far stronger rivals. At Roubaix I was up against Moser, Maertens, Kuiper, Raas and Hinault. Today, apart from lucky cases like Nuyens at Flanders, there’s just Cancellara and Boonen.”

Despite being Flemish to the bone, De Vlaeminck admits he’s a fan of Philippe Gilbert, from the French-speaking Walloon part of Belgium, even if the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider always avoid the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.

“I like Gilbert far more than I do Boonen. He’s a nice guy, kind and not at all big-headed. He races all year, right up to Lombardy and can win alone. I wish he’d try Paris-Roubaix. I’ve nothing against Boonen but you can’t be a fan of both of them in Belgium and I’m not going to change my mind.” Id.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

7 thoughts on “De Vlaeminck holds forth

  1. …this is fucking wonderful stuff…the ***gospel*** as told by one of the men entitled to tell it like it is…

    …without de vlaeminck, maybe merckx isn’t quite as glorious in his heyday, ya ???…a beautiful counterpoint, a key element…

    …saronni, gimondi, moser…hard men that raced with that certain stylistic italian panache but de vlaeminck was, as he suggests, a bandit, a hardscrabble flandrian bandit…

    …four paris-roubaix wins, four second places, even a third place…the man knows the race as well as anyone…

    …for de vlaeminck to choose cancellara over boonen, ???…the walloon gilbert over the flandrian boonen ???…fucking huge !!!…i love it…

  2. BGW….I agree. “..our generation was classier too…”, gotta love that dig. racers race.

    RdV has a posse….

  3. “At Roubaix I was up against Moser, Maertens, Kuiper, Raas and Hinault.”

    …moser = world champion – 1977…
    …maertens = world champion – 1976 & 1981…
    …kuiper = world champion – 1975…
    …raas = world champion – 1979…
    …hinault = world champion – 1980…
    …saronni = world champion – 1982…
    …merckx = world champion – 1967, 1971 & 1974…

    …yikes…what a list…

    …& mike, ya, you’re right ‘rdv has a posse’…deservedly so…

  4. Most of Roger de Vlaeminck’s power and success was derived directly from his magnificent sideburns

  5. de Vlaeminck is a true champion, no doubt.

    But I get a little tired of these old dogs grousing about the good ol’ days of walking uphill to school both directions in the snow, while they sit on the porch.

  6. …ah, davey k…someday you’ll be sitting on that porch, lookin’ at that same view & chasin’ the kids off your lawn…

    …it is true though, that there was less specialization in those days…some guys were more well suited for certain disciplines perhaps but i look back & see a lotta well rounded cyclists from that era…

  7. Man, you could fill a fucking library with what I don’t know about racing. I’m just a fat, arthritic geezer that likes bikes alot (okay, maybe too much) and drags his fixed Crosscheck and half-crippled ass down to the towpath when he can.

    But I know something of courage and sacrifice and suffering and a warrior’s heart. Damned if it don’t do this old man some good to read these stories. Keep ‘em comin’.