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King Leopold II attends the 1909 Belgian National Track Cycling Championship

4 Bekeken
Belgisch Congo
gepubliceerd op 16/Januari/22 / In Wetenschap / Geschiedenis

In the 1890s Roger de Goeij in particular was the advocate of the cyclists' cause. He was heard by certain authorities such as King Leopold II, who had a road built at his expense according to the 'plan de Goeij'. However, the development of the paths proceeded very slowly despite the pressure from the cyclists to use the newly installed bicycle load for the improvement of the roads. This hardly happened, however, and to such an extent that English cycling guides advised against cycling tourists in Belgium because the roads are too miserable. One of the emergency solutions in the 1890s was the establishment of cycling tracks where people could cycle more comfortably.In the context of the economic expansion that was fostered in Belgium by King Leopold II, it will come as no surprise that this passion was also personally enjoyed by the monarch. He was seen on many bicycle hitches, and actively supported the new hype. Leopold II liked to visit cycling competitions, especially at the velodromes in Brussels he regularly made himself noticed. From 1891, the 'Prix Du Roi' even took place every year on the National Day. Also in Spa and Ostend there was either a 'Prix Du Roi' or a Royal box. During a visit to the bicycle salon in 1895, the monarch allowed himself to be shown around with great interest among the bicycle models and promised to work for the improvement of the roads in the country, he also took on the sponsorship of the newly founded 'touring club de belgium'.The Karreveld piste was opened on May 17, 1908. From 1909 to 1911, the national championships took place here. King Leopold II, a fervent admirer of Pierre Giffard and "Le Vélo", often attends the competitions organized on the wooden ring.According to Belgavox, the source of these recordings, this video is from 1902, but that is impossible, because the cycling track in this video is the track of Karreveld, this can be seen from various elements in the video, including the location and surroundings and also the advertising texts, including Dunlop on the woodwork. it is also here that the national championships took place between 1909 and 1911, and this track was only opened in 1908. I have a strong suspicion, which can also be seen from the company of the monarch and the clothing of the spectators that this is a video from 1909, probably related to a national championship.

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