Visualizzazione dei post da agosto 4, 2017

The Eagle of Hogerheide

By Leo Woodland
Bergen-op-Zoom, Putte, Antwerp, Temse, Buggenhout, Lebbeke, Aalst
New year's day, south on the semi-main road that runs the 25km or so to Belgium. Not a sparkling ride normally but Holland was sleeping in, the streets a wreckage of burned-out fireworks, food wrappers and beer cans from the night before.
About halfway to Putte, which straddles the border, I reached Hogerheide. The main road skirts it but the bike route runs through the middle, and I didn't mind that. I fancied a coffee and there was a chance that if I picked the right café and the right company, I could get to talking about the Eagle of Hogerheide.
You may not have heard of him. Few people now recall him, which is perhaps as well because it's a sad story of a life ruined at the moment of its glory.
Hogerheide in the 1960s was the home of an everyday racing cyclist called Harm Ottenbros. On Sunday, August 10, 1969, he lined up in an oran…


30 JUN 2015 by Gianni Pericolo
A belated happy birthday to Harm Ottenbros, who was born on June 27, 1943. 
The Dutch rider is best known for winning the gold medal and rainbow jersey at the 1969 world cycling championship road race in Zolder, Belgium. The relatively unknown Ottenbros, managed to edge out Julien Stevens of Belgium by a few centimetres to claim the victory.
In addition, Ottenbros accumulated a handful of stage victories in the Tour de Suisse, Tour de Belgium and the Tour de Luxembourg. However, after winning the World Championship, the world of cycling turned on Ottenbros.
Some say they felt, that the unknown rider had no right to cycling’s biggest prize, imposing guilt on Ottenbros for denying the championship to Eddy Merckx. In fact, the only rider to congratulate him was Franco Bitossi, who rode up alongside him in the Tour of Flanders and said he admired what he’d done. The gesture so moved Ottenbros that he gave him one of his rai…