When growing up in the Flanders in the sixties and seventies, we had the luxury to choose our cycling hero’s as there was so many about, and I had dozens I used to look up to as a young boy. My favourite teams the likes of Faema, Peugot, Ijsboerke and the Flandria-Declerck which produced so many folk hero’s and world class riders people still remember now. Today I highlight a man who made the races difficult for any rider in that era..Walter Godefroot, the Bulldog of Flanders called by the media and biting his teeth in to some races was his hall mark. He would start a break, drive the break, tiring out his opposition and then strike at the finish. I met him once in Galway for the finish of the then called Milk Race at the Eyre Square stage finish in 1991 0r 1992 as I was living just down the road in Corrandula and took the opportunity to meet the riders. I introduced myself to Walter (DS and manager of the Telekom Team) and as one of the only Belgian supporters there he invited me to the hotel just outside the city where the riders had their head quarters for the night. Was allowed to visit the riders in their room and came home very happy with lots of goodies ( years ago cycle teams had a lot of promotion material freely given to all who wanted it) Even when Walter was in troubled waters with his team, I felt still sympathetic to him as he done me such a favour at the time and remember him for the better things in his career. Here a resume of his cycling courtesy of Wikipedia. Feature photo Randovelonature.canalblog.com and others courtesy of velo-pages.com and Piedmontvelosports ..with thanksWalter Godefroot (born 2 July 1943) is a retired Belgian professional road bicycle racer and former directeur sportif of Team Telekom, later known as T-Mobile Team, professional team. He won a bronze medal in the individual road race at the 1964 Summer OlympicsGodefroot was a specialist in one-day classic cycle races, winning the Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1967), Paris–Roubaix (1969), and the Tour of Flanders (1968, 1978). Besides winning the green jersey at the 1970 Tour de France, Godefroot was the first to win the final stage on the Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France. Godefroot was disqualified three times for doping. On 25 May 2007 Bjarne Riis, winner of the 1996 Tour de France and member of Team Telekom of which Godefroot was coach, admitted using EPO. Riis claims Godefroot turned a blind eye to drug use on the team.Godefroot stepped down as team manager before the 2006 season. Olaf Ludwig became manager. After the exclusion of Astana–Würth from the 2006 Tour de France, Godefroot returned to the peloton when he became manager of Astana. Here his impressive palmares:

Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1967)
10 stages, Tour de France
Green jersey, Tour de France (1970)
Tour of Flanders (1968, 1978)
Paris–Roubaix (1969)
Bordeaux–Paris (1969, 1976)
1 stage, Giro d’Italia (1970)
2 stages, Vuelta a España (1971)
Belgium National Champion