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43rd Liege-Bastogne-Liege 1957 (Belgium)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

Controversial Railway Crossing

The weather was rain, wind, snow, and cold temperatures. Only 107, out of the 135 announced, sign the starting sheet in Liege . By the halfway mark in Bastogne, snow covered roads hindered the race and 51 riders had abandoned. Frenchman Louison Bobet led a breakaway group, which includes Belgian Germain Derijcke.

Three time Tour de France champion Louison Bobet escaped in a group of counter-attackers with Sante Ranucci, Angelo Miserocchi and Derijcke. But Bobet will experience one of the more terrifying days his career.

At 47 km to go, tormented by the cold, Bobet's body resigns to the pain. In the space of 20 km he concedes 20 minutes to Derijcke. A determined Bobet refused to abandon the race. The proud Frenchman rolled across the finish line 13 minutes after the winner in 9th place.

Germain Derijcke continued through the rain and snow to claim the victory.


Bobet leads Derijcke under the closed railway crossing [photo L'Equipe]

Frans Schoubben (*) finished with Marcel Buys +2'46 behind Derijcke, but he lodged a protest, asserting that Derijcke, Bobet, Ranucci and Miserocchi passed under a closed railway crossing. The crossing is authorized in France and Italy but not in Belgium. After consideration the race officials relegated Derijcke and Schoubben awarded the victory. Several days later Schoubben on the advice of his team officals withdrew his protest. Race officials rescinded Derijcke's relegation but made the decision to award Schoubben the classification equal with Derijcke.

 

L-B-L May 5, 1957
256 Km

1. Germain DERIJCKE (Bel) 7h24'56"

1. Frans SCHOUBBEN (Bel) *

3. Marcel Buys (Bel) +2'46"

Starters: 135 (107 signed the start sheet)
Finishers: 27
Average Speed: 34.521 km/h

 

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