At age 40, Stijn Devolder is putting his bike aside. After an 18-year career, the West-Fleming says goodbye to cycling with two victories in the Tour of Flanders on his record.
Who thinks of Stijn Devolder, thinks of a real ‘Flandrien’. When ‘Volderke’ won his first Tour of Flanders in 2008 with a solo escape from the Eikenmolen, he already got crowned Belgian champion a few months before. He shone in his tricoloured jersey in Meerbeke by finishing 14 seconds ahead of Nick Nuyens and Juan Antonio Flecha.
The year after, he did that trick again. He accelerated on the Eikenmolen, like the year before, to shake things up a first time. His decisive attack followed on the Muur van Geraardsbergen. He once again rode to the finish alone and won the Tour of Flanders a second time in a row, this time ahead of Heinrich Haussler and Philippe Gilbert.
Devolder ended his career as road captain for young talents in the spring. He supported Wout van Aert in 2018 and completed his last season on the side of Mathieu van der Poel. So next year there will be one less Flandrien at the start of Flanders Finest.
Thank you Stijn for helping us shape the spring classics!
Photo: (c) Photonews