Briek Schotte (1919-2004)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by benjo maso, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    How fitting that Briek Schotte died during the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
    Although he had won other important races (Paris-Tours, Paris-Bruxelles
    Gand-Wevelgem, and Worldchampionship) he has always been been identified
    with the Ronde. Not only because he paticipated 20 times in a row, winning
    twice (1942 and 1948), but also because he personified almost perfectly the
    "national spririt" of the Flemish people, propagated by Karen van
    Wijnendaele, the founder of the Ronde: not in the least elegant or stylish,
    but hard-working, tough and honest.
    Schotte was the son of a poverty-stricken farmer. He had five brothers
    and sisters and because the family couldn't afford a bicycle for all six,
    every day young Briek had to take two of his brothers on his bike when he
    went to school, five miles from his home. It must have been a good training,
    because when he was fifteen, he discovered he could beat most other boys in
    local races. He also discoverd that on a bike he could make much more money
    than as a farm-hand. However, he realized he had to have some training if he
    wanted to become a professional. Because he had to do his nine-hours working
    day at the farm of his parents, he started at four or five in the morning to
    have some spare hours in the afternoon. No wonder, later in his career he
    was considerd one of the toughest riders of the peloton. He proved it in the
    terrible stages in the Alpes of the TdF of 1948 when it was freezing and
    snowing. He wasn't a climber at all, but he was only beaten by Gino Bartali.
    '
    Schotte's style as a rider was unique. He bent over his handlebars as a
    predator over his prey, the upper body part of his body shaked constantly
    from the left to the right, and every movement seemd to cost an incredible
    effert. Moreover, he moaned constantly as loud as a woman tennis player. One
    of his collegues told once: when I had a weak moment, I only had to look at
    Schotte to feel much better. His style seemed not very efficient, but that
    didn't impede him to become one of the best riders of his generation. What's
    more, he as one the very few who didn't use doping, he never bought or sold
    a race and - as one of his collegues said - he was honest beyond belief.
    May he rest in peace.

    Benjo Maso


    His results in the Ronde van Vlaanderen:

    1940: third.
    1941: abandoned after 3 flats
    1942: won
    1943: 18th
    1944: second
    1945: 23d
    1946: third
    1947: abandoned after two flats
    1948: won
    1949: third
    1950: second
    1951: abandoned (sick)
    1952: third
    1953: 15th
    1954: 21st
    1955: 24th
    1956: 8th
    1957: 21st
    1958: 6th
    1959: abandoned after he broke his frame.
     
    Tags:


  2. b Lafferty

    b Lafferty Guest

    R.I.P. Les Woodland has a nice chapter on him in Cycling Heros.


    "benjo maso" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > How fitting that Briek Schotte died during the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
    > Although he had won other important races (Paris-Tours, Paris-Bruxelles
    > Gand-Wevelgem, and Worldchampionship) he has always been been identified
    > with the Ronde. Not only because he paticipated 20 times in a row, winning
    > twice (1942 and 1948), but also because he personified almost perfectly

    the
    > "national spririt" of the Flemish people, propagated by Karen van
    > Wijnendaele, the founder of the Ronde: not in the least elegant or

    stylish,
    > but hard-working, tough and honest.
    > Schotte was the son of a poverty-stricken farmer. He had five brothers
    > and sisters and because the family couldn't afford a bicycle for all six,
    > every day young Briek had to take two of his brothers on his bike when he
    > went to school, five miles from his home. It must have been a good

    training,
    > because when he was fifteen, he discovered he could beat most other boys

    in
    > local races. He also discoverd that on a bike he could make much more

    money
    > than as a farm-hand. However, he realized he had to have some training if

    he
    > wanted to become a professional. Because he had to do his nine-hours

    working
    > day at the farm of his parents, he started at four or five in the morning

    to
    > have some spare hours in the afternoon. No wonder, later in his career he
    > was considerd one of the toughest riders of the peloton. He proved it in

    the
    > terrible stages in the Alpes of the TdF of 1948 when it was freezing and
    > snowing. He wasn't a climber at all, but he was only beaten by Gino

    Bartali.
    > '
    > Schotte's style as a rider was unique. He bent over his handlebars as a
    > predator over his prey, the upper body part of his body shaked constantly
    > from the left to the right, and every movement seemd to cost an incredible
    > effert. Moreover, he moaned constantly as loud as a woman tennis player.

    One
    > of his collegues told once: when I had a weak moment, I only had to look

    at
    > Schotte to feel much better. His style seemed not very efficient, but that
    > didn't impede him to become one of the best riders of his generation.

    What's
    > more, he as one the very few who didn't use doping, he never bought or

    sold
    > a race and - as one of his collegues said - he was honest beyond belief.
    > May he rest in peace.
    >
    > Benjo Maso
    >
    >
    > His results in the Ronde van Vlaanderen:
    >
    > 1940: third.
    > 1941: abandoned after 3 flats
    > 1942: won
    > 1943: 18th
    > 1944: second
    > 1945: 23d
    > 1946: third
    > 1947: abandoned after two flats
    > 1948: won
    > 1949: third
    > 1950: second
    > 1951: abandoned (sick)
    > 1952: third
    > 1953: 15th
    > 1954: 21st
    > 1955: 24th
    > 1956: 8th
    > 1957: 21st
    > 1958: 6th
    > 1959: abandoned after he broke his frame.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
Loading...