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  Freddy Maertens    

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl
Belgium’s Freddy Maertens was born on February 13, 1952.

The Belgian was a talented rider who won a Grand Tour event, multiple Points Jerseys in Grand Tour events, two World Championship Road Race titles, numerous one-day classics, but none of cycling’s five monuments.

Maertens won the Points Jersey on three occasions in the Tour de France, in 1976, 1978, and 1981.

Maertens also won the 1977 Vuelta a Espana in front of Miguel Maria Lasa of Spain and Peter Thaler of Germany. In addition, Maertens won the Points Jersey that year and an astonishing 13 stages, the record in a single Grand Tour event.

In the one-day events, Maertens won two World Championnship Road Race titles and a second-place finish.

Maertens won the 1976 World Championship Road Race in front of Italians Francesco Moser and Tino Conti.

Maertens also won the 1981 World Championship Road Race in front of Giuseppe Saronni of Italy and Bernard Hinault of France.

In addition, Maertens was 2nd in the 1973 World Championship Road Race behind Felice Gimondi of Italy.

In the 1973 race, held outside of Barcelona, Spain, Maertens chased down fellow-Belgian Eddy Merckx in the closing stages. They were then outsprinted by Felice Gimondi for victory.

The incident created a massive rift between the two Belgian riders and indeed in many Belgian cycling fans.

Picture courtesy of www.velo-club.net (De Vlaeminck, Merckx, Maertens)

Picture courtesy of www.freddymaertensclassic.be (Hinault, Maertens, Merckx, De Vlaeminck)
Maertens was 3rd in the 1977 Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Belgians Roger De Vlaeminck and Willy Teirlinck.

Maertens never won any of the five monuments of cycling, but did win a total of 373 professional victories.

Maertens began his professional career in 1972 and retired in 1987.

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