Belgian cyclist Erik leman won the Ghent-Meerbeke Tour of flanders on Sunday (1 April), crossing the finishing line only inches shead of three of his fellow countrymen.
SV Cyclists prepare for massed start
SV & GV Cyclists racing (2 shots)
SV PAN Cyclists lec by No. 89 Antheunis PAN ON No. 9 Maertens
LV Riders going uphill PAN ON No. 29 Lievens taking lead
LV & SV PAN Riders uphill, No. 99 Degeest takes over lead
SV No. 13 Leman leads through town
LV PAN Riders sprint to finish, with Leman winning from Maertens (2) and Merckx (3)
CU Leman talking to reporter after race
Initials BB/1548 JK/MR/BB/1603
SPORT: CYCLE RACING
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Background: Belgian cyclist Erik leman won the Ghent-Meerbeke Tour of flanders on Sunday (1 April), crossing the finishing line only inches shead of three of his fellow countrymen.
Leman Freddy Maertens, Eddy Merckx and willy Degeest all finished the 162-mile (260 km) race in 6 hours 15 minutes.
First year professional rider Maertens took a fine second place. The race was a tragedy for Merckx, who finished third. He was almost in tear at the end of the race after having been among the leaders for most of the event.
SYNOPSIS: Two hundred cyclists took part in the 57th Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday. The 162-mils international race started at Ghent and finished at Meerbeke. Cyclists from nine countries, including the host nation, took part.
Etienne Antheunis, number 89, was one of the large contingent of Belgian riders. Another Belgian rider who set a cracking pace was Freddy Maertens, number nine. He finished second in the race.
There were three long, hard climbs in the first 100 miles, On this hill, Belgian rider Marc Lievans, number 29, took the lead. Other countries represented were Britain, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and West Germany
Among a hard core of Belgian riders who continuously juggle for the lead was Willy Degeest, number 99. He finished the race in fourth place.
As the riders swept into the town of Meerbeke, Belgium's Erik Leman, number 13, took the lead, With the finishing line in sight there was a last all-out sprint. Lemon flashed across the finishing line only inches in front of Freddy Maertens. Eddy Marckx, of Belgium, was third and Willy Degeest fourth. All four Belgian riders finished in six hours 15 minutes.