Flandria Heroes

Flandria 1975-1976

 

Flandria 1959-1962

Flandria 1969-1971

Flandria 1977-1978

Freddy Maertens


Born: 13th February 1952, Lombardsijde, Belgium
Number of professional victories: 373
Flandria 1972 - 1979

freddy_m_1Maertens was one of the greatest cyclists who ever lived. In the1970s, when Eddy Merckx was at his best, they enjoyed a fierce rivalry, which was intensified by the Belgian media. While Merckx had the edge in the Grand Tours, Maertens was far and away the best sprinter in the world. His powerful physique allowed him to ride strongly in the one-day Classics, and also brought him many stage victories in the major tours and 3 Green (points) Jerseys in the Tour de France. His physique worked against him on the highest mountain stages of the Tours, however, which often hindered his bids for overall victory.

Maertens won the 1976 and 1981 World Road Race Championships, and came a close 2nd in the 1973 race amid much controversy.

Maertens most stunning achievement was in the 1977 Tour of Spain, where he led from start to finish, winning 13 stages along the way - a feat of dominance that matched anything Merckx achieved.
During the previous year Maertens won 8 stages in the Tour de France, which equalled Merckx’s record.

In 1976 Maertens recorded the most wins for a professional in a single season, with his total of 54 equalling Merckx’s record set in 1971.

Maertens started the 1977 season in even better form than he had been in 1976. It began with his dominance of Paris-Nice, quickly followed by the Tour of Spain. His dominance continued in the Giro d’Italia, and he was poised to take the leader’s pink jersey, but his bid was brought to an abrupt halt when he suffered a broken wrist in a horrific crash in the sprint finish on stage 8 to Mugalo. He intended to start the next day with his wrist in a cast, but was forced to abandon, unable to grip the bars. After a 3 week hiatus, against his wishes, Maertens returned to competition at the Tour of Switzerland under the orders of his team manager Lomme Driessens. With his wrist still painful and heavily strapped, he was forced to adopt a slightly sideways riding position to reduce the pressure. This lead to a back injury which plagued him for the rest of his career, and he was never able to regain his pre-injury form. Even so, Maertens ended 1977 with a victory tally just one short of his own record set the previous year, at 53, and he would surely have surpassed that had it not been for the 3 weeks he did not compete.

Major placings whilst riding for Flandria:

freddy_m_jersey_11972 Flandria - Beaulieu
1st Zwevezele Kermesse

 

 

freddy_m_jersey_21973 Flandria - Carpenter - Shimano
1st 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st stage 5, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st Scheldt Grand Prix
2nd World Road Race Championship    
2nd Tour of Flanders
5th Paris-Roubaix

freddy_m_jersey_31974 Flandria - Carpenter - Confortluxe
1st Tour of Luxembourg (also, 1st stages 1 and 2, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st Tour of Andalusia (also, 1st Prologue and stages 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
1st Tour of Belgium (also, 1st stages 2, 3 and 4)
1st Championship of Flanders
3rd 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st stage 3 and 1st Points Jersey)

freddy_m_jersey_41975 Flandria - Carpenter - Confortluxe
1st Paris Tours
1st Ghent-Wevelgem
1st Paris-Brussels (fastest ever time - 46.11km/h, 28.66mph)
1st Tour of Belgium (also, 1st stages 1 and 2, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st Tour of Andalusia (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 1, 5, 6 and 7, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st stage 3)
1st Stage 2 - Paris-Nice
1st Dauphiné Libéré (also stages 1, 2A+B, 4, 5 and 9, and 1st Points Jersey
2nd Amstel Gold Race

freddy_m_jersey_51976 Flandria - Velda - Westvlaams Vleesbedrijf (54 Victories)
1st World Road Race Championship
1st Belgian Road Race Championship
1st Championship of Flanders
1st Super Prestige Pernod
1st Ghent-Wevelgem
1st Henninger Turm
1st Amstel Gold Race
1st Championship of Zurich
1st Prologue and stages 1, 3, 7, 18A, 18B, 21 and 22 - Tour de France and 1st Points Jersey (8 Stages - equalling Merckx’s Record)
1st Prologue and Stage 1 - Tour of Switzerland, and 1st Points Jersey
1st Grand Prix des Nations
1st 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st Stage 3)
1st Points Jersey Paris-Nice (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 2, 3, 4, 6A and 6B)
1st Super Prestige Pernod
2nd Liège-Bastogne-Liège
3rd Fleche Wallone
4th Paris-Nice
5th Tour of Flanders

freddy_m_jersey_61977 Flandria - Velda - Latina (53 Victories)
1st Tour of Spain (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11A, 11B, 13, 16
and 19, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st Prologue and Stages 1, 4, 6A, 6B, 7 and 8A – Giro d’italia
1st Het Volk
1st Semana Catalana (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 1, 4 5A and 5B, and 1st Points Jersey)
1st Tour of Catalunya  (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 1, 3, 4 and 7A)
1st Paris-Nice (also, 1st Prologue and Stages 1A, 1B, 3 and 7)
1st Tour of Sardinia (also, 1st Stage 1)
1st Stage 1 - Tour of Switzerland
1st Super Prestige Pernod
3rd Paris-Roubaix
5th Amstel Gold Race
5th Milan-San Remo
5th Liège-Bastogne-Liège

freddy_m_jersey_71978 Flandria - Velda - Lano
1st Tour de France Points Jersey (also, 1st Stages 5 and 7)
1st Het Volk
1st 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st Stages 2A snd 2B)
1st Grand Prix E3
1st Stage 7 - Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stage 5 - Tour of Switzerland
4th Amstel Gold Race
4th Paris-Roubaix

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1979 Flandria - Ca Va Seul - Sunair
1st Tour de France Points Jersey (also, 1st Stages 5 and 7)
1st Het Volk
1st 4 Days Dunkirk (also, 1st Stages 2A snd 2B)
1st Grand Prix E3
1st Stage 7 - Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stage 5 - Tour of Switzerland
4th Amstel Gold Race
4th Paris-Roubaix

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