Eric de Vlaeminck sadly passed yesterday at the age of 70 after battling a long illness. The Belgian held the record for most World Cyclocross titles with a remarkable seven wins. He took the title in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.
It’s difficult to comprehend now, but before his first win in 1966, a Belgian rider had never won the men’s professional title. Up until then, France had dominated the sport since the first Worlds in 1950.
Below is footage of the second of his wins in 1968 in Luxembourg. De Vlaeminck took the win ahead of Herman Gretener of Switzerland and French rider Michel Pelchat.
The following year he won again to take his third title. The championships took place that year in Zolder, Belgium. Rolf Wolfshohl of Germany took second ahead of Italy’s Renato Longo.
In 1973, de Vlaeminck won the last of his seven titles at Crystal Palace in London. He had a tough battle on his hands that year where it came down to a three-man sprint with the Belgian beating André Wilhelm of France and Rolf Wolfshohl again.