Winning the Hell of the North an unprecedented four times (1972, ’74, ’75, ’77), the Belgian is regarded by many as the best classics rider in the history of the sport. De Vlaeminck’s cyclocross skills and experience riding his native Flandrian cobbles made him an expert on the pavé of northern France and, being Belgian, he was hard as nails. Coined by the French (somewhat derogatorily) as ‘The Gypsy’, he rode Paris-Roubaix 14 times in his career and also finished second four times.
Not only did he ride Paris-Roubaix to a record number of victories, he also claimed top spot at Milan-San Remo on three occasions, bagged a Tour of Flanders win, won the Giro di Lombardia twice, as well as winning Liège–Bastogne–Liège. Only Rik Van Looy and Eddy Merckx have also won all five of these Monuments.
We encourage you to grow sideburns in time for April 11th.