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 Waulter Wijnants king of the Schelde R.IP
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fuente
Speed Limits N/A

1075 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2011 :  08:33:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The sun glistens on the canal and the flanders wind whistles across the trees removing more branches into the gladiators path. They gather in silent olympic rings, constantly turning in circles they look up and down to see who is the fastest, who is the head of the bunch. The head struts like a cockerel with a harem of already 100 hens ,until another faster man arrives and he bows and submits to his superior status and they all turn again. Waiting like horses at an imaginary gate for the Grand National to begin. The head man flicks his shoulder and the circles twitch and lean towards the line and he turns again ,in control.
Then the gallery looks into the distance and hears a noise that makes there hearts beat faster, out of the mist a motor Derny appears and catapulted from it comes Walter Wijlands , an imaginary drum roll welcomes King Walter ,the "Ghentenar" and King of the Schelde Spurters. He joins the circles and they all watch his every move,Its getting close now and 150 strong the circles diminish to track stands as the King scratches his nose flexes his calfs and strides forward launching himself towards Oudenaarde. The greatest chaingang in the world catapults out of Ghent and like a 30mph parade they are off, Echelons appear like spanish fans across the road as riders appear from every side road to join in desperately sprinting to catch the line, some do some dont. By Gavere bridge it is 200 strong and thriving on chaos as the string breaks and snaps then joins together again as strong men tie a temporary knot in the broken string. Crunches and crashes are normal as riders go to the front and cannot return as they claw like cats down a laundry chute for just one wheel ,just one respite. At Oudenaarde 200 riders turn on a threepenny bit and head back to Ghent split into echelons caused by the strong side winds, The wind is getting colder and the twighlight zone brings more crashes as riders fatigue. After one and a half hours its over they disapear in silence, Walter picks up his Derny and the canal returns to peace.
The Schelde Chaingang birthplace of champions.

Waulter Wijnants Rest in Peace

Callum Gough

dwarwick
Setting Off

73 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2011 :  12:33:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Callum,

I remember this post from a couple of years back. At the time it inspired me to encourage more guys out on one of our Aberdeenshire chaingangs - and it worked.

I also wondered who King Walter, the "Ghentenar" was - some veteran of the cobbles perhaps. Sadly, it never occured to me until now who this was.

Rest in peace Wouter.
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Ivan
Speed Merchant

731 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2011 :  19:29:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is what Fuente is talking about:

http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/videozone/MG_sportnieuws/MG_wielrennen/1.1021802

Leve de Wielersport
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Ivan
Speed Merchant

731 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2011 :  10:36:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/Giro/110510_vannieuwkerke_over_weylandt

http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/Giro/110512_redant_weylandt

These two links above are from Sporza , well worth reading , put them in Google Translate , the first is the thoughts of Sporza journalist Vannieuwkerke on WW.

The second is Hendrik Redant's account of looking after WW's family on their arrival in Italy.

Very , very sad , needless to say.

Leve de Wielersport
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