Rik Van Steenbergen

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Left: Rik Van Steenbergen and Peter Post (right) (1967)

Rik Van Steenbergen (born September 9, 1924 in Arendonk , Belgium , † May 15, 2003 in Antwerp ) was a Belgian cyclist and one of the most successful classic hunters of all time.

He started cycling at the age of 15 when he started a race for his brother who was unable to attend and promptly won. Van Steenbergen, also known as “Rik I” because of the similar name to the younger Belgian professional cyclist Rik Van Looy , was one of the first real stars of cycling . In addition to 40 victories on the six-day racetracks, Rik Van Steenbergen was able to prevail, especially in the classic one-day races.

His greatest successes were three victories at the Road World Championships in 1949, 1956 and 1957. In the course of his professional career from 1943 to 1966 he was able to win once Milan – Sanremo , twice the Tour of Flanders , twice Paris – Roubaix and twice the Wallonia Arrow . With the average speed of 43.612 km / h achieved in his Paris-Roubaix victory in 1948, he became the new bearer of the Yellow Ribbon . In 1962 Van Steenbergen made his debut as a stayer at a race in Antwerp, but he did not pursue any further starts as a stayer.

His best result in a major stage race was a second place at the Giro d'Italia in 1951. In total, he won 15 stages in the Tour of Italy and another four in the Tour de France .

After the end of his active career, Van Steenbergen temporarily slipped into a criminal milieu. He was arrested several times for human trafficking, pushing cars and finally in 1969 after ten kilograms of opium had been seized from the trunk of his car. Other well-known professional cyclists were involved in the affair, including a. Joseph Meesters.

Rik Van Steenbergen was married twice; the first marriage had five children. He was the father-in-law of successful six-day professional Palle Lykke . The quote from Van Steenbergen is passed down: "There are no supermen, doping in sport is necessary."


  • Walter Rottiers: Rik Van Steenbergen. The ace of aces. Covadonga Verlag, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 3-936973-15-6 .
  • Rik van Steenbergen: Geschiedenis the Kruistocht . Rebo Productions. 1987 203 p. (Flemish)
  • Fred De Bruyne: Rik van Steenbergen . Mechelen, Uitgave G. Kolff, 1963. (Flemish)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Association of German cyclists (ed.): Radsport . No. 7/1964 . German sports publisher Kurt Stoof, Cologne, p. 16 .
  2. ^ Association of German cyclists (ed.): Radsport . No. 13/1962 . German sports publisher Kurt Stoof, Cologne, p. 2 .
  3. ^ Rottiers: Rik Van Steenbergen , p. 126.