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Rik Verbrugghe: a funny story
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 5/21/2002
Rik Verbrugghe: a funny story
Rik Verbrugghe is one of the heroes of Belgian cycling. He has many beautiful races and stage wins on his palmares like Fleche Wallone (2001), a stage in the Tour de France (2001 - stage 15) and by now, 2 stages in the Giro (prologue 2001 and 7th stage 2002). So far, he has collected 11 victories in his life as a professional cyclist (since 1996) and mostly very spectacular ones like Fleche Wallone where everybody else was dropping as flies.

Since about a month now, he has his own fansite with small tidbits of news of how Rik did in every stage. Although it's in Dutch, it's definitely worth a look if you need to know how Rik did in a specific stage.

The most funny thing I read on the site though, is the history of his fanclub. Apparently, a few years ago, a student from Leuven (near Brussels - Belgium) was watching a mountain stage of the Tour when Michel Wuyts, the commentator, said they would continue to broadcast until every Belgian rider crossed the line. At a certain moment, he announced they were only waiting for one more rider, Rik Verbrugghe. Most viewers would have wondered who he was at the time. And at last, just before the broadcast ended, Rik Verbrugghe crossed the finish line. That student, Kris Allemeersch, at that moment, decided to start a fanclub. And there they are.... a few years later and the number of fans is growing.

If you are interested in Riks fanclub, write an email to Klaas Duron. They celebrate his victories big (with free beer!), have special T-shirts, go to races together, watch TV together with the necessary atmosphere,....

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