Born: 24th February 1933, Ruddervoorde, Belgium
Died: 30th April 2000, Oostkamp, Belgium
Number of professional victories: 89
Flandria 1959 - 1962
Leon Vandaele, a talented sprinter, was partly responsible for the creation of the Flandria team. Riding in Rik Van Looy’s Faema-Guerra team in 1958, he perhaps unwisely out-sprinted his own team leader to win that year’s Paris-Roubaix. As a consequence, he found himself without a team at the end of that season. Following a chance meeting between Vandaele and Aimé Claeys, the Flandria bicycle company owner, Claeys agreed to form a team around Vandaele for the 1959 season.
Vandaele gave Flandria its first Classics victory, winning Gent-Wevelgem in the team’s debut season.
Major placings whilst riding for Flandria:
1959 Flandria - Dr.Mann
1st Stage 3 - Paris-Nice
1st Stage 1 - Tour of Luxembourg
3rd Milan-San Remo
1961 Flandria - Wiel’s
1st Stage 2 - Tour of Luxembourg
Team jersey images © www.memoire-du-cyclisme.net