classic cycle races

1964 Flèche Wallonne - Gilbert Desmet

by Matthias Van Milders on 17 June 2021
There is a Gilbert Desmet I and there is a Gilbert Desmet II. The two were contemporaries, but not at all related. Gilbert Desmet I was more than a capable rider. The West-Fleming already boasted an impressive record of achievements when he won La Flèche Wallonne at the age of 33. With the finishing line still in Charleroi at that time, Desmet left the Dutch top players Jan Janssen and Peter Post choking on his dust. The other Gilbert Desmet came home in 13th place. The trophy for the winner of La Flèche Wallonne is the work of Brussels sculptor Louis Van Cutsem, a huge sports fan, who created hundreds of sculptures of cyclists, boxers and other athletes. For example, he carved a memorial for Stan Ockers out of a huge chunk of blue stone, shortly after the death of the Frascati world champion. The work of art still stands at the top of the Côte des Forges, known from the final of that other Ardennes classic, the Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycling race.


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