Seven-time World Cyclocross Champion Erik de Vlaeminck has passed away at age 70.
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).
RIP Erick De Vlaeminck! De cross verliest een kampioen! Bedankt voor de cross techniek die ik van jou heb geleerd! Sterkte aan de familie!
— Sven Nys (@sven_nys) December 4, 2015
— Sven Vanthourenhout (@svenvth) December 4, 2015
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.