Kurt Desplenter

The cyclist Roger Decock has passed away aged 93

The oldest surviving winner of the Tour of Flanders cycle race Roger Decock has died aged 93. The winner of the 1952 Tour of Flanders died at his home in the West Flemish village of Aarsele on Saturday night. The news of is passing comes from is granddaughter Veronique Coene.

Roger Decock not only won the Tour of Flanders in 1952. A year earlier he won the Paris-Nice race. Among his other successes were a victory in the Flemish Cycling Championships in Koolskamp (West Flanders) in 1951 and the Scheldeprijs race in 1954.

His professional cycling career began in 1949 and ended in 1961. Roger Decock took part in the Tour de France on two occasions (in 1951 and 1952). During the 1951 Tour de France he witnessed the Dutch cyclist Wim Van Est, who at the time had the yellow jersey, fall into a ravine. The West Fleming put his personal ambition aside in order to save Van Est’s life (photo below). He was able to alert the emergency services, but in the process lost 25 minutes.

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