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Rik Van Looy: Cycling

Henri “Rik” Van Looy (born 20 December 1933) is a former Belgian professional cyclist of the post-war period. Before Eddy Merckx, he won more classics than any professional cyclist ever. He was given the nickname, “King of the Classics” or “Emperor of Herentals” (because he lived in the small Belgian city near the Dutch border).

Greatest Sporting Achievements

Van Looy was the first cyclist to win all five of cycling’s monuments (Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastongne-Liege, Tour of Flanders), the most prestigious one-day classics –being one of the three riders (Roger De Vlaeminck and Eddy Merckx) to win all five monument races.

He won the World Championship road race twice and once during the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 for Team road race.

Van Looy is ninth on the all-time list of Grand Tour stage winner with thirty-seven victories.

Why Was He So Good?

Rik Van Looy had remarkable abilities as a road sprinter. He was not a great climber though he was better than average. He was extremely competitive and always liked to work up himself to the best of his abilities.

What You May Not Know

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