___Race Snippets


61st Ronde van Vlaanderen 1977 / Tour of Flanders (Belgium)


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian





Positive Tests at Doping Control

SPECIAL NOTE: The start of the race was moved from Gent to St. Niklaas. 

An aging Eddy Merckx started the 1977 Ronde van Vlaanderen with one purpose… DOMINATE!!!

Merckx attacked before the climb of the Oude Kwaremont and opened a solid gap. On the Koppenberg the Cannibal had a minute lead on Roger De Vlaeminck and World Champion Freddy Maertens, who after a minor crash on the Koppenberg had to change his bike to continue. 

With the 2 chasers closing quickly an untimely puncture by De Vlaeminck allowed Maertens to join Merckx alone. After a slow wheel change De Vlaeminck had to chase the two leaders.

Frantically De Vlaeminck drove himself and rejoined the breakaway. Wanting to shed De Vlaeminck from the group, Maertens attack immediately. De Vlaeminck answer the move but a tiring Merckx was dropped.

Maertens (L) leads De Vlaeminck (R) into Meerbeke/Ninove

Around the final corner in Meerbeke/Ninove Roger De Vlaeminck jumped past Maertens for the victory.

SPECIAL NOTE: * X Freddy Maertens, finished 2nd overall, was disqualified for irregular bicycle change (to avoid a "bottle-neck" on the Koppenberg, race official announced "NO BIKE CHANGES ON THE KOPPENBERG") . He also had a positive test at doping control. Walter Godefroot became 2nd.

** XX Walter Planckaert finished 3rd overall, was disqualified for a positive test at doping control. Jan Raas became 3rd.

*** Guy Sibille finished 12th was disqualified for failure to report for the doping control medical check.

Flanders April 3, 1977
260 Km, St. Niklaas to Meerbeke/Ninove

1. Roger DE VLAEMINCK (Bel) 6h44'00"

2. * X (Freddy Maertens DQ’d) +2”
3. ** XX (Walter Planckaert DQ’d) +2’00”

2. Walter Godefroot (Bel) *

3. Jan Raas (Ned) **
Starters: 167
Finishers: 26

Average Speed: 39.207 km/h

RVV 1976

RVV 1978

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