Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Blues: G.S. Safir-Galli-Ludo...


Pictured above in their sharp-looking sky blue jerseys are the men of the Belgian squad, GS Safir Galli Ludo. The team, in 1981, was ostensibly built around the great Belgian racer, Herman Van Springle. Van Springle began his pro career in 1965, tallied win after win through the 1960s and 1970s. He would hang up his cleats in 1981, but not before riding to a magnificent 7th victory in the legendary Bordeaux-Paris race (the other six coming in 1970, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, and 1980). Rounding out the team in 1981 were Raoul Bruyndonckx, Andre Dierickx, Oscar Cierickx, Patrick Lerno Johna Louwet, Willem Peeters, Benny Schepmans, Willy Sprangers, Etienne Van der Heist, Marc Van Geel, Ronny Van Holen, Eddy Van Hoof, Jean-Phillippe Vandenbrande, Hendrik Vandenbrande, Willy Vigouroux, Rene Wuyckens, Ivan Zagers, all of Belgium. Three non-Belgians were also on the team - John Trevorrow of Australia, as well as Richard Meehan and Ron Hayman of Canada. Hayman, would of course, go on to become one of the original riders of the ground-breaking 7-Eleven team.

Like many of the professional peloton's trade teams, the Safir squad was known by different names, different years, as sponsors came and went. For instance in 1978 they were Safir-Beyers-Ludo, in 1979 they were Safir-Ludo-St Louis, 1980 Safir-Ludo, 1982 Safir-Marc, 1983-1985 Safir-Van de Ven.

While Van Springle may have been the best known rider of the team, that does not mean they were a one-trick pony. Andre Dierickx, Jean Philippe Vandenbrande, Etienne Van der Heist, Benny Schepmans, Willem Peeters, and Ronny Van Holen each had lengthy careers, before and after their time with Safir, with many wins and top finishes between them. In 1981 though, the teams biggest win was undoubtedly Bordeaux-Paris. To win one of the sports most demanding single-day races even once puts a racer at the head of the class; to do so seven times puts you in a class of your own. Other significant wins that year were at the Melbourne Six Days, Houtem - Houtem, and the GP Briek Schotte.

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your blog, I added a link to it on my cycling jersey collection; on the Safir/Ludo jersey

    http://cycling-jersey-collection.com/browse-collection/safir-ludo-galli-1981-santini-wool-team-jersey/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Andy. That is quite a collection you have, not to mention a fantastic resource. I am sure I will check in from time to time. Are you familiar with Recycling Jerseys here in Southern California? He (Jim) has a massive collection of jerseys that he sells at various local events, as well as online. I always stop by his tent just to see what new goodies he has.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...