Historic Overview Félicien Vervaecke
Félicien Vervaecke (Dadizele, 11 March 1907 – Brussels, 31 October 1986) was a Belgian professional cyclist from 1930 to 1939. In the Tour de France he showed good results, finishing three times on the podium (second once, third twice). In 1935 and 1937 he won the mountain classification, and overall he won six stages. In the 1936 Tour de France, Vervaecke was on his way to the second place, but bad luck prevented it. First his bicycle broke, and he had to convince a spectator to lend his. Then he suffered a flat tire, and Tour officials forced him to wait for the reserve car. Antonin Magne passed him. When Vervaecke got his tire, he raced back to Magne, and finished 18 seconds behind him. But he still finished third, as he received 10 minutes penalty because his wife had given him drinks during the race, which was not allowed. In the 1937 Tour de France, Vervaecke won the mountain classification despite not finishing the race, something no longer allowed.
He was the first Belgian cyclist to win a stage in the Giro d'Italia.
After his cycling career, Vervaecke started a bicycle shop in Brussels. He was the first manager of Eddy Merckx.
His older brother Julien Vervaecke was also successful, finishing third in the 1927 Tour de France.