x 69th Ronde van Vlaanderen 1985 / Tour of Flanders (Belgium)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

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Vanderaerden Shines on a Miserable Day in Flanders

A miserable day in Flanders greeted the 173 riders at the start of the 1985 Ronde Van Vlaanderen. The always tough cobbled climbs of Flanders were almost impassable because of the rain. Only 35 riders remained in the race after 200km. The Flanders nickname "flahute" would be earned today.

The torrential rain and cold wrecked havoc on the always brutal Koppenberg climb.  Numerous riders fell on the wet cobbles.  Nikko Verhoven, Phil Anderson, and Eddy Planckaert took advantage of the misery and broke away. 

With the peloton shattered the lead chase group became 6 riders.  Hennie Kuiper and Erik Vanderaerden led the chasers 30 seconds behind the breakaway.  Kuiper and Vanderaerden caught the leaders as the roads became a torrent of mud and water.

Quickly Kuiper attacked over the Berendries and escaped solo.  Vanderaerden and teammate Phil Anderson combined and caught the solo Dutchman at the base of the Muur de Grammont

On the Muur Kuiper and Anderson began to tire and lost contact with Vanderaerden.  Kuiper was forced to do all the work of the chase and Vanderaerden opened a 45 second lead. 

Into the finish in Meerbeke Erik Vanderaerden soloed across the finish and claimed his first Major Classics victory.  Teammate Phil Anderson attacked Kupier with 4 kms to go and took second place on the podium.

Flanders April 7, 1985
271 Km, St. Niklaas to Meerbeke/Ninove

1. Eric VANDERAERDEN (Bel) 6h49'50"

2. Phil Anderson (Aus) + 41"

3. Hennie Kuiper (Hol) + 1'01"

Starters: 173
Finishers: 24

Average Speed: 39.650 km/h

 

 

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