ERWIN DE CLERCQ, BELGIUM: PASSION HAS NO LIMITS
An accident, but still the desire to be on the saddle: nothing can stop Erwin De Clercq, the De Beiaard journalist madly in love with cycling who last year at the WPCC won gold both in the line and the road race for the M2 category.
A few years ago he lost his memory due to a serious accident and had to learn everything again from the beginning. But his passion for the bicycle, developed thanks to his cyclo-cross loving father, was never forgotten: never erased, not even by the heavy trauma.
And today Erwin De Clercq, our Belgian colleague of the WT Merelbeke Team, leads a very normal life, full of satisfactions and working as a journalist for the De Beiaard website. And it was indeed his perseverance that after the accident gave him the strength to tackle the pedals again and get back to having fun on the saddle of his bicycle, following the examples of Adrie Van der Poel and Mathieu Van der Poel, for him the very best athletes in history, not only in cyclo-cross, but also mountain biking and road racing.
Erwin has been competing since a very young age, when his bedroom walls were already covered with the posters of the finest cyclists of the time. And among the events that will stay in his heart for a long time is the Beachrace: “This is a mountain biking competition that takes place in Knokke, here in Belgium,” says Erwin, “I finished in 18th place, just behind cyclo-cross racer Sven Nys: you can certainly understand my joy in finding myself right on the heels of my idol of a lifetime”. Our colleague from De Beiaard reveals that he would love to have dinner with Nys, and may be share a good Belgian style plate of meat and chips, something he really likes and rarely goes without.
Today he is 47, he works and follows his son’s friends in their competitions, and when he can, particularly while on holidays, he enjoys playing tennis with him. But most of his spare time is still spent on his bicycle, or rather his bicycles, as he owns two racing bikes – a Pinarello Prince for the Winter and a Pinarello Dogma for the Summer -, and a Trek mountain bike: “They are my faithful travelling companions, and on them I do about 12,000 km every year,” says Erwin.
In September he will be in Italy, which for him always means pasta and beautiful locations, such as the Dolomites, the Romagna coast with Rimini and Cesenatico and the hills of San Marino. And it will be right here, in the heart of Veneto, that he will try to keep the world title won at the end of August in Roeselare, Belgium, in the line and road races (M2 category): on the roads of Treviso he will for the tenth time take part in the World Press Cycling Championship, once again doing his best in challenging all his cycling friends that he meets with great pleasure every year, and with whom he shares his unstoppable passion for the two wheels.