Stan Ockers

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Stan Ockers
Stan Ockers at the 1951 Tour de France
Personal information
Full nameConstant Ockers
Born(1920-02-03)3 February 1920
Borgerhout, Belgium
Died1 October 1956(1956-10-01) (aged 36)
Antwerp, Belgium
Team information
Discipline
RoleRider
Rider typeSprinter
Professional teams
1941Individual
1942Helyett–Hutchinson
1943–1945Métropole
1946Metropole–Dunlop
1947Groene Leeuw
1947–1949Mondia and Garin–Wolber
1950Metropole–Dunlop and Terrot–Wolber
1951Girardengo and Terrot–Wolber
1952–1954Peugeot–Dunlop and Girardengo–Clement
1955–1956Elvé–Peugeot
1956Girardengo–Icep
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
Points classification (1955, 1956)
4 individual stages (1950, 1954, 1956)

Other stage races

Roma–Napoli–Roma (1956)

One-day races and Classics

World Road Race Championships (1955)
La Flèche Wallonne (1953, 1955)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1955)
Scheldeprijs (1941, 1946)

Track Championships

National Championships
Madison (1955)

Other

Challenge Desgrange-Colombo (1955)
Medal record
Representing  Belgium
Men's road bicycle racing
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1955 Frascati Professional road race
Bronze medal – third place 1953 Lugano Professional road race

Constant ("Stan") Ockers (3 February 1920 – 1 October 1956) was a Belgian professional racing cyclist.

He was runner-up in the Tour de France in 1950 and 1952, and the best sprinter in that Grand Tour in 1955 and 1956. In 1955 he won the Classic "Ardennes double" by winning La Flèche Wallonne and the Liège–Bastogne–Liège in the same year. At this time, the races were run on successive days as "Le Weekend Ardennais". He also won the World Cycling Championship that year.

Ockers and family at the start of the 1954 Tour de France

Ockers did not have the most congenial riding style - he was known as a crafty cyclist who often took advantage of other people's work - but he more than made up for this through his contact with the public. Stan Ockers always remained himself, had time for everyone and thus became one of the most popular riders of his generation, together with Rik Van Steenbergen and the young Rik Van Looy.

At the opening of the 1956 Antwerp track season, Ockers crashed heavily. He didn't see how Ernest Sterckx had returned to the track after a mechanical failure, looked back and drove full into his opponent. Ockers suffered a fractured skull and four broken ribs. The Antwerp folk hero fell into a coma, regained consciousness twice more but died of his injuries two days later on 1 October. Antwerp was in mourning, even 11-year-old Eddy Merckx was in shock at the passing of his great idol. Tens of thousands of Antwerp people saluted the corpse of their Stanneke whose body was laid to rest in Antwerp Sportpaleis.[1]

A year later, a monument was built in Les Forges, Sprimont, in the south of Belgium.

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

Road[edit]

1941
1st Scheldeprijs
1st Anwerp Province championship
1943
3rd Liège–Bastogne–Liège
3rd Schaal Sels
1944
1st Bruxelles-Everbeek
4th Overall Omloop van België
1946
1st Scheldeprijs
1st Heist-op-den-Berg
1st Bruxelles–Sint-Truiden
1st Anwerp Province championship
5th Gent–Wevelgem
1947
3rd Overall Tour de Suisse
4th La Flèche Wallonne
5th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
6th Overall Tour de Luxembourg
1948
1st Overall Tour of Belgium
2nd Omloop der Vlaamse Ardennen
2nd Dwars door West-Vlaanderen
3rd Gullegem Koerse
1949
7th Overall Tour de France
1950
2nd Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 4
2nd Critérium des As
7th Road race, UCI World Road Championships
8th Overall Challenge Desgrange-Colombo
8th Road race, National Road Championships
1951
5th Overall Tour de France
6th Bordeaux–Paris
1952
2nd Overall Tour de France
2nd Overall Roma–Napoli–Roma
1st Stage 4a
2nd Overall Vuelta a Argentina
1st Stage 3
2nd La Flèche Wallonne
3rd Overall Challenge Desgrange-Colombo
6th Overall Giro d'Italia
10th Road race, UCI World Road Championships
10th Road race, National Road Championships
1953
1st La Flèche Wallonne
2nd Overall Roma–Napoli–Roma
1st Stage 4
2nd Critérium des As
2nd Overall Week-end ardennais
2nd Gran Premio di Lugano
3rd Road race, UCI World Road Championships
3rd Road race, National Road Championships
3rd Overall Challenge Desgrange-Colombo
4th Giro di Lombardia
4th Bordeaux–Paris
6th Overall Giro d'Italia
1954
1st Schaal Sels
2nd Paris–Roubaix
5th Bordeaux–Paris
6th Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 11
6th Milan–San Remo
1955
1st Road race, UCI World Road Championships
1st Overall Challenge Desgrange-Colombo
1st Overall Week-end ardennais
1st La Flèche Wallonne
1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Trophée Gentil
1st Stage 1b (TTT) Driedaagse van Antwerpen
2nd Overall Tour de Suisse
2nd Grand Prix Martini
2nd De Drie Zustersteden
2nd Bruxelles–Couvin
3rd Critérium des As
5th Paris–Brussels
8th Overall Tour de France
1st Points classification
9th Paris–Tours
1956
1st Overall Roma–Napoli–Roma
1st Stages 1b, 3b, 4b, 5a & 5b
2nd Tour of Flanders
2nd Bordeaux–Paris
2nd Grand Prix Martini
3rd Overall Challenge Desgrange-Colombo
4th Road race, UCI World Road Championships
4th La Flèche Wallonne
5th Classica Sarda
6th Gent–Wevelgem
8th Overall Tour de France
1st Points classification
1st Stage 19
9th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stages 5 & 9
10th Milan–San Remo

Track[edit]

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956
A pink jersey Giro d'Italia 6 6
A yellow jersey Tour de France 11 7 2 5 2 6 8 8
A red jersey Vuelta a España
Legend
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish

Awards and honours[edit]

1957 monument of Ockers at the Côte des Forges
  • Trophée Edmond Gentil: 1955
  • Grote Prijs Stan Ockers, a derny race in Antwerp: from 1956[1]
  • Officer in the Belgian Order of Leopold II: 1957[2]
  • Memorial monument in Sprimont, Liège (la Côte des Forges): 1957
  • Grand Prix Stan Ockers, a cycle race in France: 1957-1963
  • Stan Ockers Classic, a criterium in Antwerp: from 1963[3]
  • A street, Stan Ockersstraat in Borgerhout, Antwerp
  • Stanneke a song by Hugo Matthysen: 1990
  • Mémorial Stan Ockers, a race organized by Cyclo-Club de Beaufays from 1996[4]
  • Introduced in the UCI Hall of Fame: 2002
  • Memoire du Cyclisme - Ranking of the Greatest Cyclists (44th place): 2002[5]
  • Commemorative plaque in Borgerhout, Antwerp: 2006[6]
  • CyclingRanking - Overall all time ranking (43rd place): 2022[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "De Giro komt vandaag aan in Frascati: wat weet u nog van Stan Ockers en welke is de link met Victor Campenaerts?" [The Giro arrives in Frascati today: what do you remember about Stan Ockers and what is the link with Victor Campenaerts?]. Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 14 May 2019.
  2. ^ "De 'vergeten' Belgische wereldkampioenen: Stan Ockers, een ware mythe (1955)". www.proximus.be (in Dutch). 23 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Stan Ockers Classic". stanockersclassic.be (in Dutch). 31 August 2023.
  4. ^ "OCKERS Stan Sprimont". connaitrelawallonie.wallonie.be (in French).
  5. ^ "Les meilleurs coureurs de tous les temps (1892-2002)".
  6. ^ "Wielerlegende Stan Ockers krijgt gedenkplaat in Borgerhout" (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. 30 August 2006.
  7. ^ "Historic Overview Stan Ockers". Cycling Ranking.

External links[edit]