Thursday, January 27, 2011

1984 with Lucien Van Impe

Cool dots...
on the back of my 1984 racing license.



Lucien Van Impe is considered as one of the finest grimpeurs in the history of cycling. The Belgian was well known in the mountains, winning six KOM's jerseys in the Tour & two in the Giro.


Lucien Van Impe... a worthy Flandrian!



When I first followed cycling, I sat mesmerized watching the 1983 Tour and marveled at the climbing talents; Jimenez, Millar, Delgado & Van Impe. When I took out a racing license, in 1984, I put a picture of Van Impe on the back of the license for inspiration. I never won any of the races I entered but it's cool to see him with the polka dot jersey and the gloves riding a Pinarello.

In the winter of 1984, I had the experience of my life meeting Giovanni Pinarello at his factory in Treviso, Italy. A very special honor to meet him and to see the beautiful racing bicycles being built for the Metauromobili Pro team. I also met and talked to team manager, Roberto Poggiali. I remember him, with curly hair and a thick handlebar moustache, saying how good Van Impe was riding and that he seemed sad that the Belgian star would leave at the end of the season. Van Impe was indeed leaving for Italian team Santini-Krups-Conti for 1985.

Nevertheless, 1983 was a successful season for him. He accomplished the double Tour/Giro KOMs title. And, he won the Belgian National Championship road race at the age of 37! That was his last polka dot jersey and perhaps the most symbolic tying the eagle of Toledo, Federico Bahamontes with six wins.

A gifted climber and a true Flandrian!


1977 KOMs...
ANP Photo


Making Thevenet hurt big time...
1975 KOMs
Photo L'Equipe

Along with the Gypsy...
Classy Flandrians.


Crushing it!...


Shaking on it with the Badger...
1978 Tdf. 
cyclezine.net


1983 Giro KOMs.

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