Flemish cycling stars celebrate Tour de France results


Three Flemish riders are looking back on a series of highlights in this year’s Tour de France, including a dramatic stage win on Bastille Day and top-10 rankings for intermediate sprints

Paris finale

As the Tour de France ended on Sunday in the traditional Paris finale, Flemish riders Thomas De Gendt, Greg Van Avermaet and Serge Pauwels celebrated a remarkable series of victories notched up during the three-week race.

De Gendt finished second in the overall polka-dot jersey ranking for the king of the mountains, just behind Poland’s Rafal Majka, and claimed victory in a dramatic stage up Mount Ventoux on Bastille Day.

De Gendt and Van Avermaet came seventh and eighth respectively in the green jersey classification for points won on intermediate sprints. Van Avermaet also claimed the Tour’s coveted yellow jersey for three days, and won the 216km Limoges-to-Le Lioran stage. Serge Pauwels, meanwhile, came sixth in the mountain ranking and 13th in the points.

However, none of the Flemish riders came close in the overall ranking: De Gendt came 40th, Pauwels 42nd, Van Avermaet 44th and Jan Bakelants 50th.

Photo: Thomas De Gendt in the polka-dot jersey as best climber and Greg Van Avermaet in the yellow jersey of leader in the overall ranking at the start of the sixth stage of the Tour de France

© Yorick Jansens/Belga

Flemish cycling

Flemish cyclists have played a dominant role in the history of European bicycle racing. With the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), the region also has a classic cycle race.
Flandriens - The legendary pioneers of the Flemish cycling tradition are called “Flandriens”. They include Roger De Vlaeminck, Eddy Planckaert, Johan Museeuw and Walter Godefroot.
Eddy Merckx - Having won 525 races in his career, Brusselaar Eddy Merckx, nicknamed “the Cannibal”, is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
Trophy - The annual Flandrien Trophy honours the best Belgian cyclist of the past season. Professional cyclists choose and vote for the nominees.

number of times Merckx won the Tour de France

1 913

first Tour of Flanders

1 969

Merckx becomes first Belgian to win the Tour de France in 30 years