Rider Interview: Should you had any curiosity in skilled bike racing within the 70’s and 80’s it’s essential to keep in mind a sure exhausting rider from the Flemish Ardennes’ village of Deftinge. If the race was powerful, then Ferdi Van Den Haute was on the entrance. After an opportunity assembly on the Gent 6 Days, Ed Hood managed to arrange an interview with Ferdi.
Ferdi Van Den Haute on the Gent 6 final week
Should you’ve learn my ramblings from the Six Days of Gent then you definitely’ll know that sitting in entrance of us in ‘t Kuipke was Belgian 70’s and 80’s star of highway and monitor Ferdi Van Den Haute. Ferdi very kindly agreed to an interview with us however earlier than we hear what he needed to say allow us to take you thru his profession hi-lites.
Tour of Holland 1975
Within the mid 70’s he was a prolific winner as an novice on highway and monitor, profitable Nationwide Championships within the madison and particular person pursuit. He turned professional with Ebo-Cinzia in 1976 and kicked his profession off with an early stage win within the Tour of Sardinia and later within the season took the GP Lucien Van Impe.
Subsequent to Michel Pollentier (Flandria) – Ronde van Vlaanderen 1976
The next season noticed him win the Belgian Elite Madison Championship with no much less a personage than Patrick Sercu and there have been quite a few successes within the kermis koerses. The ’78 season noticed him within the colors of Marc Zeepcentrale for arguably his finest ever season with two Vuelta stage wins and general factors title in addition to triumphing in Gent-Wevelegem. Nonetheless with Zeepcentrale for ’79 there have been stage wins in races as numerous because the Tour of the Netherlands and Tour de l’Aude.
A win for Marc Zeepcentrale
In 1980 he joined the staff with which he’s maybe most related, La Redoute – a serious mail order catalogue firm from Northern France. Holding his monitor legs in form he received the Belgian Omnium Championship and had highway success, together with a stage within the Etoile des Beseges. In ’81 he received the powerful Northern France semi-classic, GP Denain. The next yr there have been the standard kermis koers wins and fourth within the lovely however late lamented Trofeo Baracchi two man time trial, partnered with Theo De Rooy.
Worlds Nurburgring 1978: Andre Dierckx, Roger de Vlaeminck, Ferdi Vandenhaute and Jan Raas
The hi-lite of season ’83 was a Paris-Good stage win. Season 1984 noticed a Tour de France stage win and one other powerful French semi-classic victory, the GP Fourmies. In ’85 there was one other stage win within the Etoile des Beseges and the sixth of seven wins within the GP Stad Geraardsbergen the place he’s all time, ‘recordman.’ With Skala Skil for ’86 he received the prologue within the Tour of Belgium and triumphed for the ultimate time in Geraardsbergen. His final season in ‘87 noticed one in all his greatest successes, the all the time exhausting fought Belgian Skilled Street Race Championship.
Roger de Vlaminck and Ferdi Van Den Haute in Paris-Roubaix
PEZ: You have been a really profitable novice, inform us about that first professional contract with Ebo.
Ferdi Van Den Haute: I by no means had it in my head to show skilled, I had profession as a trainer however I used to be approached by Mr. Ebo, who owned a meat enterprise; he needed to construct an expert staff round me. I’ve superb reminiscence of my time there and I used to be very fortunate that in solely my second or third race I received a stage within the Tour of Sardinia – an awesome begin to my profession.
Ferdi Van Den Haute, Fons de Wolf and Roger de Vlaeminck
PEZ: Then you definately went to Zeepcentrale.
Extra good recollections there, I received two Vuelta phases and the general factors classification with them, it was within the spring again then – and naturally, I received Gent-Wevelgem with them too.
Flanders’84: Greg Lemond and Ferdi Van Den Haute
PEZ: Then the staff with which maybe you’re most carefully related – La Redoute, you have been there for six seasons.
They recruited me for the Classics however as a result of it was a French staff I rode the Tour de France with them as a help rider – but it surely wasn’t a race I actually loved, I used to be all the time drained after a troublesome spring Classics marketing campaign.
Van Den Haute climbing the Muur within the Ronde van Vlaanderen 1984
PEZ: Your greatest win, Gent-Wevelgem, beating Walter Planckaert, Francesco Moser and Jan Raas – your recollections of that day?
It was a really chilly day, there was snow beside the roadside and naturally, it was a really exhausting race over 246 kilometres that yr – I received clear by myself with 15 or 16 kilometres to go and received by a minute from Planckaert.
PEZ: The GP Denain and GP Fourmies are all the time exhausting races to win.
FVDH: These races got here at instances of the yr which suited me and have been necessary races for a French sponsor.
Ferdi in Bordeaux-Paris with Derny pacer Jos Meesters
PEZ: You had two notable ‘close to misses,’ in 1981, second in Bordeaux-Paris and Paris-Excursions, any ‘with hindsights?’
No, in Bordeaux-Paris I used to be overwhelmed by Herman Van Springel, he was often known as ‘Monsieur Paris-Bordeaux;’ he received that race seven instances – so he wasn’t straightforward to beat there! While within the 1981 Blois-Chaville, as Paris-Excursions was at the moment, I used to be overwhelmed by Jan Raas – he was fairly quick on the end.
Roubaix with Adrie van der Poel
PEZ: You received the Belgian Skilled Championships in 1987 however that was your final season?
Once I turned professional I made a decision that I’d do 12 seasons and that may be sufficient, I solely wore the jersey for six months.
With Skala-Skil in 1986
PEZ: Then straight into the Panasonic staff automotive as DS underneath ‘man of iron,’ Peter Submit.
Sure, I accepted Peter Submit’s supply to develop into a DS together with his staff and sure, he was a tough man however very right, you’ll by no means hear me say a nasty factor about him.
Within the Panasonic staff automotive behind Eric Van Lancker
PEZ: Inform us about your coaching again then.
I by no means had a coach and it was solely in my final season that I did any what you’ll name ‘scientific’ coaching once I bought SRM cranks. I set my very own packages again then, a number of kilometres with intervals included relying on what races I used to be getting ready for.
Crash on the Koppenberg
PEZ: Would you prefer to be an expert now?
I believe I used to be fortunate with the time I used to be a professional, there was extra friendship and camaraderie, now they don’t combine, they keep within the bus till 5 minutes earlier than the beginning. We was collectively much more and naturally there have been no good telephones, pill and laptops to stare at.
TT motion with ADR-Fangio-IOC-MBK in 1987
PEZ: You have been an completed monitor man, did you experience the six days?
Sure, Gent, Grenoble, Munich. . . They have been exhausting after a full highway season however we needed to experience them with the intention to earn cash, there have been no riders’ wages like they’re now.
Superklassieker – Ferdi Van Den Haute
PEZ: How was the transition from rider to DS for you?
It was no downside, it was one thing I all the time had in thoughts to do and was in a position to give my riders good recommendation on ways and coaching – and as I stated, from 1987/88 I embraced coaching on energy and was in a position to advise on that.
None, I all the time gave my finest. . .
Race director on the Benelux Tour 2021
# A giant because of Ferdi for his time and phrases. #