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Pistekoning and seigneur

4beb5a549aae242c734d4e0d0e555266 - Pistekoning and seigneur

Posthumously

Patrick Sercu (1944-2019)

Pistekoning and seigneur

Eighty-eight zesdaagses, but also a green jersey, a world championship and olympic gold. In the best decade of the Belgian championships was Patrick Sercu, one of the greatest champions. He died Friday at age 74.

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Posthumously

Speed was the trademark of Patrick Sercu. belgaimage

Patrick Sercu (1944-2019)

Pistekoning and seigneur

Eighty-eight zesdaagses, but also a green jersey, a world championship and olympic gold. In the best decade of the Belgian championships was Patrick Sercu, one of the greatest champions. He died Friday at age 74.

Patrick Sercu

  • Born in Roeselare on June 27, 1944, died on april 19, 2019
  • PISTE
  • 88 six-day cycle races won, including 11 in Ghent
  • Olympic gold in the kilometre (Tokyo 1964)
  • 2x gold (1967, 1969) and 2x silver (1965, 1968) at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS sprint
  • ROAD
  • 6 stage wins in the Tour, the green jersey in 1974
  • 13 stage wins in the Giro
  • 1969: 8th in Paris-Roubaix
  • 1970: 5th in Gent-Wevelgem, 7th in Tour of Flanders
  • 1973: 5th in Milan-Sanremo

Jan-Pieter De Vlieger

It was the son Christoph that Friday the death of Patrick Sercu announced in a short statement: ‘He should be in June to 75 years. His health was for some years already unstable and was the last weeks bright declined.’

Anyone who Sercu knew, knew it wasn’t right with him. And yet, the message came hard within. ‘I tried him yesterday to call’, says Eddy Merckx. “I loss a very, very good friend. I know Patrick, when I was sixteen.’

Speed was the trademark of the driver Patrick Sercu: “He had the physiognomy of a race horse’, wrote Walter Pauli and Jan Wauters in their survey of the Belgian championships. ‘An Arabian thoroughbred: tall, slim and strong at the same time.’

“Patrick and I were the perfect combination: he had the speed, I have endurance’

Eddy Merckx

At the age of nineteen was already Sercu on the slopes of Rocourt world champion at the amateurs in the sprint, a discipline which he, as the gentleman or hated. “Always was the game, much to nervous rates.’ In 1964, he won at the Tokyo olympic gold in the kilometre. In the apartment in Izegem, where Sercu, until recently, lived, hung that medal on the wall, next to a felicitatietelegram of king Baudouin and queen Fabiola. A little further down was also his first professional contract in 1964 with Solo-Superia. That had Sercu cleverly kept hidden for the COIB: only amateurs were allowed to then go to the Games.

In the most successful decade of the Belgian cycling gold Sercu as ‘the king of the track. He should be in his career 88 zesdaagses win. ‘On the piste driving with Patrick was a dream, ” says Merckx. “We were the perfect combination: he had the speed, I have endurance. I have in my career seventeen zesdaagses won, of which fifteen on the side of Patrick. That says enough.’

Green jersey

Also on the way reed Sercu a fantastic list of achievements: thirteen stage wins in the Giro d’italia, six in the Tour, with a green sweater (1974) on top of it. To that last one in perspective: as a driver at the Italian teams Faema, Dreher and Brooklyn, he was allowed but two times to start in the Tour.

“For us, it was the Giro when much more important,” says former teammate Roger De Vlaeminck. ‘Otherwise, had Patrick a lot more rides won. A top sprinter. But beware, as teammates, we also have a lot of against each other is a sprint. That was without trains, just every man for himself. Patrick was first and I second. And occasionally vice versa.’ (laughs)

Despite the focus on Italy is still a Touretappe that the wegcarrière of Sercu, the most colour. As a rider at Fiat and as a roommate of Eddy Merckx – he set up in 1977 on the stage to Charleroi an early breakaway. He rode only by the Brussels boulevards between rows of hundreds of thousands of fans. For the stock exchange, pulled he also, for a premium of 100,000 Belgian francs.

After his career was Patrick Sercu of the great driving force of the Belgian track, as a coach and organizer of the Ghent six-day. A whole generation of pistiers is indebted to him. “Without Patrick I never had the same career had on the slopes,” says Etienne De Wilde. “We have even had some together driven, all the way to the end of his career. For me that was a dream: Patrick was my idol on track, such as Eddy Merckx that was on the way.”

“When Patrick stopped, there was abroad a lot of demand for new Belgian pistiers. So I had in 1983, against my liking in Germany, go for a drive. That were leaden rates, afternoon and evening. Patrick gives me valuable advice given: “don’t look at what others are doing.” He talked about the “medical preparation”, let me call it. There was no control. I have the opinion of Patrick followed, and so I may quotes to my forty.’

Natural authority

Wielercommentator Michel Wuyts had yesterday about the ” great seigneur, in all phases of life passed with the highest distinction’. Etienne De Wilde acts that: “Patrick was a big personality. We have regular discussions, as Patrick me in the six-day linked to a rider who I did not see a future. But he had such a natural authority. As he spoke, I listened.’

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