When I was a teenager (so many moons ago) one of my hero’s was the little man from Mere (East Flanders) called Lucien Van Himpe..a name on any Belgian cycling fan lips in the 70 ties.The famous Polka jersey ( bolletjes trui) became world while known because of his antics in the Alps. The famous fights climbing the Mont Ventoux with Poulidor, Thevenet, Hinault, Joop Zoetemelk and so many others, Lucien won many of this battles. Met him in 2002 in the Criterium of Blankenberge when I was with my pub one of the primes sponsor of the race, and had a great chat with him about his cycling life. The Tour de France was his race and show piece..a born climber and that we don’t have in Belgium in abundance. One of the small group of PURE riders in that time era who never tested positive, never missed an appointment with the dope catchers..He only won the tour once in 1976 and was six times winner of the KOH GC.. therefore I call Lucien a mountain goat as he excelled when others knackered on the unforgiving climbs of the Alps..Photos courtesy of Lucien’s social media pages & BikeRaceInfo or otherwise stated, and Wikipedia for results summary..His is now with Wanty-Group Gobert as DS at the age of 72 and still a very popular man.Tour de France
General classification
(1976)
Mountains Classification
(1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983)
9 Individual Stages
Giro d’Italia
Mountains Classification
(1982, 1983)
1 Individual Stage
Vuelta a España
1 Individual Stage
One-day races and Classics
National Road Race Champion (1983)Pro teams Lucien van Himpe 1969–1974 Sonolor–Lejeune
1975–1976 Gitane–Campagnolo
1977 Lejeune–BP
1978 C&A
1979 Kas–Campagnolo
1980 Marc-Carlos-V.R.D.-Woningbouw
1981 Boston–Mavic
1982-1984 Metauro Mobil
1985 Santini–Krups
1986 Dormilon
1987Sigma–Fina

Photo credit Loucrup 65 France Still a good fine looking man in his 70tiesOn his way to win the TDF in 1976The Tour of Italy as green jersey holder in 1982
Merci Lucien voor de jaren of wielergenot geschonken aan alle belgen ( A thank you to Lucien for the cycling joy he has given all the belgian cycling fans . Next week Freddy Maertens in part 3.