November 2007

By Graham Jones
CyclingRevealed Historian










The World's: Back to Back

Georges Ronsse (WC 1928 & 1929), Belgium

George Ronsse
George Ronsse, winner of Paris-Brussels 1928

Based on the dynamics of the time, Alfredo Binda should have defended his 1927 World Championship with comparative ease. However the Italian team was far from united in 1928 (a tradition that they have maintained ever since!) and the Belgians exploited their squabbling to perfection. Georges Ronsse went up the road and won the race by over 19 minutes, which is still the biggest winning margin of any World RR Championship. The following year the Italians were expected to wreak their revenge but Ronsse once again triumphed to become the first rider to achieve back-to-back victories.

Ronsse was primarily a one-day racer who included Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1925), Paris-Roubaix (1927), Bordeaux-Paris (1927) and Paris-Brussels amongst his wins. In 1932 he rode an excellent Tour de France finishing 5 th overall along with one stage win. During his era the atrocious road conditions were not so far away from the typical cyclo cross course and, like many road riders of his time, he excelled at the discipline. He was the Belgian National Cyclo Cross Champion in 1929 and 1930.

Born in 1906, Ronsse was fortunate to be too young to suffer the horrors of World War I. His racing career lasted ten years from 1926 until 1936. He passed away in 1969.

SPECIAL NOTE: In 1930 Binda reclaimed his Rainbow Jersey, in 1931 Learco Guerra made it another Italian victory and in 1932 Binda came back for his third championship. So in the first six years of the World's RR Championship history the die was cast establishing the dominance of Belgium and Italy. Belgium had the first back-to-back winner and Italy had the first three-time champion!


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