Raymond Impanis dies aged 85
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Raymond Impanis dies aged 85

by Ben Atkins at 2:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 
Belgian classics star of the 1950’s is lost to the sport

raymond impanisRaymond Impanis, a tough Flemish Classics specialist of the 1950s, has died, aged 85, after a long illness, according to Sporza. The former professional rider was born on October 19th, 1925 in the Kampenhout suburb of Berg in the Vlaamse-Brabant region of Belgium. As the son of a baker, he was known as the ‘Baker of Berg”.

Impanis rode professionally between 1947 and 1963, winning most of the biggest Belgian races during his 17-year career. He won Gent-Wevelgem in 1952 and 1953, but it was 1954 that was to give him his best results.  In that year he took the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix; both of these victories came after taking the first of what were to be two Paris-Nice titles.

Impanis holds the record for starts at Paris-Roubaix, with 16, which was equalled this year by Dutchman Servais Knaven, and finished in the top ten an incredible nine times. The big gap on his list of victories was Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but he managed to come second in the race an incredible four times.

His talents were not confined to those of a classics specialist though, as he finished the 1947 Tour de France, arguably the toughest ever race, in sixth place; he returned the next year to finish tenth, and then finished eighth in 1950. He also finished seventh in the 1957 Giro d’Italia and third in the 1956 Vuelta a España.

Between 1982 and 1994 the GP Raymond Impanis was organised in his honour, with winners including Ludo Peeters, Eric Vanderaerden and Australians Allan Pieper and Phil Anderson.

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