One - the introduction and the top ten best Classics riders in history.
11. Fred De Bruyne (7)
Judged on talent alone, Fred De Bruyne
was the lesser of many of his generation’s peers, but he compensated that with
his intelligence and strength of character. De Bruyne loved to tell stories
about how he used to get up at 6 in the morning, and walk over the dawned grass
in the freezing cold with wooden blocks attached to his feet, in order to
strengthen them. He steeled and hardened his body. He won 5 classics during 3
golden years, but the eternally for attention craving De Bruyne never received
the recognition he deserved.
Never did he get received at the village hall of Berlare, where he lived, after one of his wins. That had to do with his father’s
past during the war. Fred De Bruyne suffered a lot because of that. He actually
only became popular after his active career: first as a
commentator, where he
impressed more with his language proficiency than with his technical knowledge;
and later on as DS of the legendary Panasonic team. An exhausted De Bruyne
turned his back to cycling in 1988, and went to live in the Provence. He died
six years later of the consequences of a lingering disease.