Erik de Vlaeminck, Belgian cyclocross legened, passes at 70. photo: 1968 Worlds

Erik de Vlaeminck, Belgian cyclocross legened and seven-time World Cyclocross Champion, passes away at age 70. photo: 1968 Worlds

Seven-time World Cyclocross Champion Erik de Vlaeminck has passed away at age 70.

De Vlaeminck won his first World Championship in 1966, and his last in 1973 (see videos of his ’68 victory in Luxembourg, his 1969 win in Magstadt in Germany, and his ’73 victory in London below).

The Belgian also had success on the road and as a coach, winning a stage in the Tour de France as well as winning the Tour of Belgium, and later coaching the Belgian cyclocross team to many victories. De Vlaeminck retired as coach after the 2002 World Championships in Zolder (the site of this year’s championships as well).

The Belgian cyclocross legend was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzehimer’s disease for two years, and his brother Roger told the De Standaard that communication over the last year was impossible. “If you say something to him, he does not understand you, and we don’t understand what he says. It’s a sad time,” said his brother.

De Vlaeminck was also unfortunate to outlive his son Geert. His son, at just 26 years old, passed away from a heart attack while racing cyclocross in 1993. He was the amateur Belgian national champion at the time.

To celebrate De Vlaeminck’s life and career, we’re showcasing two of his world championship victories in the videos below.

R.I.P. Erik.

Video: Erik de Vlaeminck’s Second World Championship Win in 1968 in Luxembourg

Video: Erik de Vlaeminck’s Third World Championship Win in 1969 in Magstadt, Germany

Video: Erik de Vlaeminck’s Seventh World Championship Win in 1973 in London