Alcohol-fueled tensions were running high among Belgian cycling fans Saturday night at Le Fluurgen Klopp, a popular pub in the working class suburb of Assebroek* outside the industrial city of Faargenkold.
The topics of tonight’s heated debate were the storied careers of two unsung Belgian amateurs. In between orders for another Stella Artois, the argument raged.
Yosteen won the coveted Blort-Flerg-Blort in 1972, just edging his more seasoned teammate, Thoryos, as members of the short-lived Zoop Knurd squad. Thus began an intense rivalry that characterized many Belgian amateur races throughout the seventies.
Few Belgians will forget when Thoryos won the ’73 Shaartsnortt kermesse series. Yosteen claimed that Thoryos had given him a ‘Belgian hickey’—licking his pinky finger and sticking it in Yosteen’s ear, thus distracting him to gain the victory. Officials failed to witness the alleged offense, and despite Yosteen’s protest, Thoryos retained the win.
Their bitter competitive tactics continued in the ’74 Korntuurd Classic when Yosteen gave Thoryos a ‘Belgian rugburn’—lighting Thoryos’ jersey on fire as they rode, and escaping for the win amid the confusion and disarray as Thoryos flailed to remove his flaming garment.
Thoryos saught revenge in the 43rd running of the Hoon Vaarg Vannddderrrdaasssen Boont in 1975. Thoryos co-conspirators saw to it that Yosteen received a ‘Belgian lunchbag’—a musette filled with lead weights.
As Yosteen sped through the feed zone, he crashed heavily and dislocated his right shoulder as he reached for the approximately 200 kilo food tote.
When Yosteen resumed racing in the 1976 Puupfaart Race, their aggressive racing action turned borderline murderous when Yosteen gave Thoryos a ‘Belgian appendectomy’—stabbing Thoryos in the side with a tire iron.
Sadly, both riders’ careers ended prematurely when during the 1977 Ronde Van Boogerflikk, they received lifetime bans after mutually attempting to inflict a ‘Belgian waffle’—throwing popular breakfast pastries at each other during the race.
*This is a real town in Belgium. Look it up. All other names of pubs, cities, riders, teams, races and 'Belgian anything' (except waffles) are fictional. Duh.