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Cyclocross Stars; sport’s heros past and present achievements

Although Cyclocross has been around since 1902, the World Championships only came about in 1950, when the sport was officially recognised and regulated by the UCI. Since then there have been a number of names which stand out as some of the greatest Cyclocross stars of all time.

Andre Dufraisse

One of the earliest stars of the sport, Frenchman Dufraisse gained international recognition by winning five consecutive World Championships, from 1954-58, followed by a silver and three bronze. He was the French champion no less than seven times between ’55 and ’63, and at the peak of his career in 1956 won nineteen of the twenty competitive races he participated in.

Eric De Vlaeminck

Seven time world champion and four time Belgian national champion, De Vlaeminck was known as a bit of a wild child of the sport. Despite allegations of bad behaviour during his career, he went on to coach one of the most successful Belgian national teams of all time.

Adri van der Poel

adri van der poel 197x300 Cyclocross Stars;  sports heros past and present achievements

Although this Netherlands star only won the World Championships once in his career, he deserves a mention as he did place a further seven times, and was the Dutch national winner six times.

Renato Longo

Retained the Italian national title for a record twelve consecutive years, from 1960-72. During this time he also won the World Championship five times, and had an astounding 230 race wins in total during his career.

Albert Zweifel

Swiss-born Zweifel raced between 1973-89 and took home five World Cups and 9 Swedish nationals.

Erwin Vervecken

erwin vervecken 225x300 Cyclocross Stars;  sports heros past and present achievements

Began his career in the junior league, and is still on the circuit today. Won the U17 and U19 Belgian national titles in his first three years as a professional, and currently holds three gold, three silver and two bronze from the World Championships.

Roland Liboton

The second Belgian to make the list (but certainly not the last), Liboton won the World four times, and from 1980-89 completed a full decade of being the Belgian national champion. He also won three golds in the Super Prestige in ’85, ’86 and ’88.

Mario De Clercq

Specialised in Cyclocross yet also had a successful road and circuit racing career between 1991 and 2004. He came first in the World Championships three times, with a further three seconds and one third, and won the Belgian National twice.

Sven Nys

sven nys 225x300 Cyclocross Stars;  sports heros past and present achievements

Hailed as the current golden boy of Cyclocross, Nys has been ranked between first and sixth in the world since 1998, and is currently second. He almost achieved eight consecutive firsts in the Super Prestige, with only one second place in the ‘03/’04 season to break it up. Outside of the cyclo cross speciality, Nys has racked up eight BMX national titles, and placed well in numerous mountain biking championships. In 2005 he became the first Cyclocross rider to win the Grand Slam, bagging all four major championships and finishing number one in the UCI rankings.

This post was written on behalf of Strada Wheels – specialists in Cyclocross wheel sets.

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