Five medals for Flemish cyclists at track world championships


Belgium brought home five medals from the UCI Track Cycling World Championship, including a gold in the women’s madison

Kopecky and D’Hoore cement number one status

Belgium brought home five medals from the UCI Track Cycling World Championship, which finished yesterday in the Hong Kong Velodrome, including gold in the women’s madison.

Flemish duo Lotte Kopecky and Jolien D’Hoore pipped the UK favourites to claim the madison crown, in a crash-strewn race of the two-person event over 120 laps. They added to their European title, establishing themselves as the dominant pair in this event.

Elsewhere at the event, Flemish cyclist Kenny De Ketele won silver in the men’s points race, and D’Hoore added to her medal haul with a bronze in the scratch. De Ketele won his second when he and Moreno De Pauw won bronze in the men’s madison. Rising star Nicky Degrendele of West Flanders won the bronze in the women’s keirin. 

In related news, Tour of Flanders champion Philippe Gilbert is out for the rest of the season after injuring his kidney winning the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Belgian cyclist was set to take part in both the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège classics in the Ardennes, but his crash in the Amstel race was too serious to continue.

Despite the crash, he won Amstel for the fourth time with a sprint finish against former world champion, Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland.

Photo: AFP/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