Roger De Vlaeminck, E3 Harelbeke, 1971

Through the lens of Maurice Terryn

Press photographer Maurice Terryn (1930-2016) captured hundreds of cycling races and thousands of cyclists between 1955 and 2005 and was active both at home and abroad. Since his death, his carefully constructed collection of negatives has been preserved in KOERS. Museum of Cycle Racing.

Maurice Terryn was born in 1930. Together with his wife, he lived in the Izegem neighbourhood of De Bosmolens (Belgium). Although he began his career at the shoe factory Decoene, he switched to press photography in 1955. He could often be spotted during processions, inaugurations and events in the Izegem - Roeselare - Lendelede region, but his great passion was sport and for this he travelled throughout the province and far beyond.

In 1969, he became a full-time press photographer. His work appeared in daily newspapers such as Het Volk and Het Laatste Nieuw, in weeklies like De Weekbode and Het Wekelijks Nieuws, as well as in specialized sports media like Sport 70 and Sport 80. He portrayed football in Bruges, was known in boxing circles, but especially in cycling he made a name for himself as an atmosphere photographer.

Not only did he photograph the course of the race, but also the atmosphere around it. He built up good relationships with many riders and which allowed him to capture unique moments in a familiar atmosphere. He took the photo for the funeral card of the lamented world champion Jempi Monseré.

While Maurice primarily covered races in West Flanders, such as Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Izegem Koers, and the Grand Prix Valère Ollivier, he also ventured beyond the province. Armed with his camera, he immortalized events like the Tour of Flanders, the Omloop Het Volk, Paris-Roubaix, and Bordeaux-Paris on several occasions. Additionally, he was asked to portray passages of the Tour de France and the Tour de Suisse.

The highlight of his sporting career was undoubtedly the 1974 World Cycling Championships in Montreal, Canada. As the sole Belgian photographer present, he had the privilege of capturing the iconic moment when Eddy Merckx won his third world title

"In 1989, his son Danny Terryn joined the business, and together they remained active in press photography under the name 'Terma' until Danny decided to quit in 2005. After 50 years, Maurice Terryn also decided to hang up his camera. His extensive photo collection was later sold to the towns of Izegem and Roeselare, where it forms a unique source of visual material from the second half of the 20th century. Maurice died at the age of 85 on 29 May 2016.

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