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Rik Vansteenbergen died last night...(3 posts)

Rik Vansteenbergen died last night...morency
May 15, 2003 11:51 PM
do you Americans know who I'm talking about?
re: Rik Vansteenbergen died last night...Akirasho
May 16, 2003 12:10 AM

Be the bike.
Rik 1 van Steenbergenwielerpret
May 16, 2003 2:28 AM
Rik I, as with Rik II being Rik van Looy, was 78 when he died in an Antwerp hospital. Until his fatal illness he was known to ride 30 kms per day.
As a 19 year- old he made his debut in the Tour of Flanders, and won! The youngest rider ever to have accomplished that. In the 1952 edition he was ahead with Bobet, Kubler and Gaultier. He was a consumate sprinter and trusted himself to win that day. When they were halted at a railroad crossing at Wichelen, the others slipped through but Rik hesitated. When he eventually crossed, it turned out that a self important official 'with a big fat moustache, called Van Kerckhove' had seen him and Rik was disqualified. Another deception came in 1956 when he should have won if his teammate (!) Close hadn't caught up with him with winner de Bruyne (?) right behind. He became 6th in 1951 after Magni in appaling weather, and later wondered why he had started in 'such discgraceful circumstances' in the first place. Probably to prepare for Paris - Roubaix, a race which was more to his taste.
He won 40(!) sixdays in which more decent money could be made in those days.
The loss to the sport of a unique former champion and gentleman is a great one indeed.
Luke. Amsterdam