• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Tribute to Erwin Vervecken

Last Saturday Erwin Vervecken hung up his bike for good after 18 years of pro cycling. The city of Herentals decided to organize a jubilee in his honour. It was a race in which everybody could take part and cycle with the best crossers of the moment (they were almost all there). More than 700 anonymous riders were present and also some ex riders : Liboton, De Bie D., his ex coach and Van Santvliet, his ex teammate. But the pros wanted to make it a real race. The organizers put a prime after two laps and Nys took it after great efforts. Everything is worth taking for Sven. :D


Erwin's career began in the winter 92/93 with a win in Leudelange, Luxemburg a.o. but was really launched the next winter with a 2nd place in Gieten and most of all a win in the Dune Cross of Koksijde. He won his 5th and last Dune Cross 15 years later. By the time, he already had his 3 Worlds.

Vervecken was a unique rider who used to make the difference not only with his bike qualities but mostly his running qualities, like Zweifel in his time. This reminds us that cyclocross was once called "cross cyclo-pédestre" in French ("bike and on foot"). He was also Belgian MTB champion and won a stage in the Tour de Liège on the road in 2004 when he and his teammates were without contract following the Spaar Select bankruptcy.

In an underground station Saturday I went up the stairs with 3 steps at a time, as a tribute to Erwin ... or maybe because I was in a hurry. :D

This man also invented a new Bolognese spaghetti recipe with red cabbage and lumpias and "won" a race as a female impersonator on the Eve of his wedding. :D:D
Videos relating Erwin's career:

WC 1994 in ... Koksijde. Erwin was 3rd behind sand master Herygers and Groenendaal


First 2 World titles. In Tabor '01 ahead of Dlask and De Clercq. The two Belgians were freezing on the podium. Czechian Dlask is used to it. :D In Zeddam '06 taking advantage of Nys' bad crash and taking his chance while Wellens perhaps was the best but didn't know what he had to do with Mourey being there.

2nd behind Nys in Sankt Wendel. Vanthourenhout left a gap which helped his Rabo teammate attacking while Erwin was in VTH's wheel. The chase was great. Again the stairs with 3 steps each stride.

The greatest championship ever: Hooglede Gits '07. The Belgians were top favourite at home but they all fell to the ground: Wellens, Nys (about 6 or 7X). Even Dutchman Groenendaal. And who, for God sake, was this Jonathan Page? :D
Koksijde 2008, 4 Fidea's against Nys, who didn't even ride together as a team. Erwin could hang on with his 6 meter strides in the dune and the last sprint was epic !!!!!

Erwin thought at that time it would be his last World Cup win. Nah ! Two months later was Roubaix. A race he already won 3 times/4. His only defeat to De Knegt was decided by the jury after a millimeter sprint, as there were no finish photo. :rolleyes: In 2009 he resisted Stybar's chase who in the last lap always remained at 5 seconds despite being the only one who risked climbing down the huge descent on his bike. Great race !

In Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, this season, he won his last race. With Page and Heule they were ok for an interview in Madison. They made predictions for the World Cup. All wrong. :D

The race, itself.


Erwin on the Citadelle of Namur (photo made by me)


During the warming-up with Nys. Vanthourenhout on the left.