May 4, 2010

Freddy Maertens

some pictures and a wiki bio of one of my favorite racers from the 70's and perhaps the greatest sprinter never to win one of the classics:

Freddy Maertens (born 13 February 1952 in Nieuwpoort) was a Belgian professional racing cyclist and twice World Road Race Champion.

Maertens also won the 1977 Vuelta a España, taking more than half the stages; 13 in total, and took the spinters' maillot vert in the Tour de France three times (1976, 1978 and 1981). In 1976 he won a record-equalling eight stages of the Tour de France; the following year (1977), he took seven stages in the Giro d'Italia.

Outside the Grand Tours, his stage race victories included Paris-Nice (1977), the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque (1973, 1975, 1976 and 1978), the Tour of Andalucia (1974, 1975), Tour of Belgium (1974, 1975), Tour de Luxembourg (1975), Tour of Sardinia (1977) and Vuelta y Catalunya (1977).

However, despite his sprinting dominance during the 1970s, Maertens did not win a one-day Classic, coming closest with second places in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (1973) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1976). His other major one-day road race victories included:

Gent-Wevelgem (1975, 1976)
Paris-Brussels (1975)
Paris-Tours (1975)
Amstel Gold Race (1976)
Rund um den Henninger Turm (1976)
Züri-Metzgete (1976)
Omloop "Het Volk" (1977, 1978)
Grote Scheldeprijs (1973)

Maertens is believed to have been one of the best sprinters in the world, and is credited with having nurtured another great sprinter Seán Kelly during the latter's early professional career. He was also an accomplished rider in individual time trials, winning the Grand Prix des Nations in 1976.

He also won the season-long Super Prestige Pernod International competition in 1976 and 1977.

Maertens was known to have pushed high gears, which some critics say caused him to burn out early and retire at young. In response, he said that the higher gears allow him to descend without too much strain to his heart.A year after his fabulous 1981 season his career was all but on the rocks & as reigning World Champion he failed to start the 1982 edition of the race at Goodwood , the official line was that he injured his knee on a gate.

After retirement Maertens and his wife Carine had many hard years after losing much of their money and being pursued by tax authorities. Maertens was also angry when Belgian television used his photograph as a backdrop to discussions about drug-taking in the sport. He told the French newspaper L'Équipe that "like everyone else", he had used amphetamines in round-the-houses races but he insisted that he had ridden without drugs in important races - not least because he knew he would be tested for them. He previously worked as curator of the Belgian national cycling museum in Roeselare, and now works at the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders Museum), in Oudenaarde.The bicycle shop Maertens Sport in Evergem on the outskirts of Gent is owned by Freddy's brother Mario.

Belgium National Amateur Road Race Championship
, World Amateur Road Race Championship
1st, Overall, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
Winner Stage 5b
1st, Scheldeprijs
, World Road Race Championship
2nd, Ronde van Vlaanderen
5th, Paris-Roubaix
1st, Overall, Tour de Luxembourg
Winner Stages 1 & 2
1st, Overall, Vuelta a Andalucía
Winner Prologue a-b, stages 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6
1st, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
1st, Stages 2, 3 & 4, Ronde van België
1st, Stage 3b, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
4th, Amstel Gold Race
5th, Paris-Tours
1st, Paris-Tours
1st, Paris-Brussels
1st, Gent-Wevelgem
1st, Overall, Ronde van België
Winner Stages 1b & 2
1st, Overall, Vuelta a Andalucía
Winner Prologue, stages 5, 6 & 7b
1st, Overall, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
Winner Stage 3b
1st, Prologue, stages 1, 2a, 2b, 3, 4 & 7b, Dauphiné Libéré
2nd, Amstel Gold Race
3rd, National Madison Championship (with Walter Godefroot)
4th, Flèche Wallonne
5th, Giro di Lombardia
5th, Overall, Paris-Nice
Winner Stage 2
World Road Race Championship
National Road Race Championship, Dilsen
1st, Amstel Gold Race
1st, Rund um den Henninger-Turm
1st, Züri-Metzgete
1st, Gent-Wevelgem
1st, Grand Prix des Nations
1st, Overall, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
Winner Stage 2b
1st, Brabantse Pijl
1st, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
1st, Trofeo Baracchi (with Michel Pollentier)
1st, Critérium des As
1st, Six Days of Dortmund (with Patrick Sercu)
2nd, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
3rd, Flèche Wallonne
3rd, National Madison Championship (with Marc Demeyer)
4th, Overall, Paris-Nice
Winner Prologue, stages 2, 3, 4, 6a & 6b
5th, Ronde van Vlaanderen
7th, Overall, Tour de Suisse
Winner Prologue, stage 1 & Points Classification
8th, Overall, Tour de France:
Winner Prologue, stages 1, 3, 7, 18a, 18b, 21 & 22a
Winner Points Classification
Winner Super Prestige Pernod
Belgium National Derny Championship
1st, Omloop Het Volk
1st, Overall, Vuelta a España:
Winner overall classification
Winner Prologue, stages 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11a, 11b, 13, 16 & 19
Winner Points Classification
1st, Overall, Paris-Nice
Winner Stages 1a, 1b, 2 & 7b
1st, Overall, Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
Winner Stages 1, 4, 5a & 5b
1st, Trofeo Laigueglia
1st, Overall, Giro di Sardegna
Winner Stage 1
1st, Overall, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Winner Prologue, stages 1, 3, 4 & 7a
1st, Stage 1, Tour de Suisse
1st, Six Days of Antwerp (with Patrick Sercu)
2nd, National Omnium Championship
3rd, Paris-Roubaix
, European Omnium Championship
5th, Milano-San Remo
5th, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
5th, Amstel Gold Race
Giro d'Italia:
Winner Prologue, stages 1, 4, 6a, 6b, 7 & 8a
Winner Super Prestige Pernod
1st, Omloop Het Volk
1st, Overall, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
Winner Stages 2a & 2b
1st, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen
1st, Tour du Haut Var
1st, Stage 7a, Dauphiné Libéré
1st, Six Days of Antwerp (with Danny Clark)
, European Omnium Championship
4th, Paris-Roubaix
4th, Amstel Gold Race
13th, Overall, Tour de France:
Winner Stages 5 & 7
Winner Points Classification
14th, Overall, Tour de Suisse
Winner Stage 5
World Road Race Championship
66th, Overall, Tour de France:
Winner Stages 1a, 3, 12a, 13, & 22
Winner points classification
Winner Intermediate Sprints Classification


Anonymous said...

All the best! Classic riders in classic races.It never got better than this!

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