Happy birthday to Grace Verbeke, born in Roeselare, Belgium on this day in 1984. Verbeke turned professional with Lotto-Belisol in 2006 and remained with the team until 2010, then spent 2011 riding for Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley before going to Kleo for 2012.
An excellent time trial rider and all-rounder, she has won numerous prestigious races including the West Flanders Independent Time Trial Championship (2007, 2009, 2010), the Ronde van Vlaanderen (2010), the Holland Hills Classic (2010) and the National ITT Championship (2010), in addition to podium finishes at a number of stage races including the Tour de l'Ardèche and Tour Féminin en Limousin.
Peter Post, who was born on this day in 1933, became the first Dutch rider to win Paris-Roubaix in 1964 and, in doing so, also won the Ruban Jaune for setting the fastest average speed in a race more than 200km long that year (45.131kph - which, by the way, has yet to be bettered in this race, though it has been beaten in several other events). Post was primarily a track rider who won 65 Six Day events, including Brussels in 1965 when he paired up with Tom Simpson, but he performed well on the roads too; winning the Ronde van Nederland in 1960, a National Road Race Championship in 1963 and 2nd place behind Eddy Merckx in the 1967 Flèche Wallonne.
Two years after he retired from competition in 1972, Post became directeur sportif of the legendary TI-Raleigh team that is sometimes said to have been the most successful in the history of cycling. His unrivaled knowledge of cycling and skill as a coach was enormously influential on the riders who passed through the team, including such legends as Hennie Kuiper, Gerrie Knetemann, Jan Raas and Joop Zoetemelk. Yet he also possessed a very sharp business sense - when Raleigh withdrew for racing, he managed to bring the vast multinational electronics manufacturer Panasonic on board and, with their funds, built up a powerful team around Phil Anderson, Eric Vanderaerden, Viatcheslav Ekimov, Olaf Ludwig and Maurizio Fondriest.
Post retired from team management in 1995, by which time he was ranked as the second most successful directeur sportif of all time. He returned in an advisory capacity for Rabobank in 2005. He died on the 14th of January 2011, aged 77, in Amsterdam.
|Alexander Serov in the|
(image credit: Jack999
CC BY-SA 2.0)
Willem Thomas, born in Belgium on this day in 1956, won a small number of criterium races, mostly in his home nation, during the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s. However, his best result was 3rd place in Stage 15 of the 1979 Giro d'Italia.
Happy birthday to Vacansoleil-DCM's Rob Ruijgh, born on this day in 1986 and fourth place overall in 2011's Four Days of Dunkirk.
Other cyclists born on this day: Giulia Bonetti, Nicole Callisto, Jorge Castelblanco, Andres Avelino Antuna Coro, Jinjie Gong, Gijs Van Hoecke, Shih Chang Huang, Ferdi Van Katwijk, Angela McClure, Anita Molcik, Irina Molicheva, Yohan Offredo, Maximo Rojas Romero, Linnea Sjoblom, Julien Taramarcaz.