Skip to content

Cobblestone rocket Sep Vanmarcke of Garmin-Barracuda

February 27, 2012

Sep Vanmarcke at the 2011 E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke (photo by Cindy Trossaert, Flickr)

[updated 2/27/2012]

Four days before the 2012 Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Sep Vanmarcke acknowledged that Hushovd’s departure from Garmin-Barracuda opened a door to greater potential success this year for the young classics rider.

With last season marked by knee and achilles tendon injuries and a bad crash at the Vuelta, Vanmarcke could have allowed shaken confidence to rule; he could have focused on the “what-ifs” of stepping into the space beyond the open door – another crash on the narrow roads, perhaps, or a return of the cramps that took hold at the end of last year’s Gent-Wevelgem.

Twenty-three year-old Vanmarcke from West Flanders instead mustered his courage. He shot through that open door on Saturday and won the Omloop het Nieuwsblad ahead of Tom Boonen.

Vanmarcke’s calendar on his website shows he should be starting Paris-Nice on Sunday, March 4th. That provides a few days to discover and savor a few morsels about Vanmarcke.


“I think the kind of rider you dream to be is what’s in you,” Vanmarcke said in 2011. “I think I always dreamed of the cobblestone races and always wanted to do it, so I’m good at it…I didn’t dream about Miguel Indurain, but I loved Johan Museeuw and Peter Van Petegem and Edwig Van Hooydonck.”

Belgian racing family

“I grew up with racing, I never saw anything else,” he told Podium Cafe. His dad raced. His brothers raced. “I couldn’t start [racing] earlier because of my parents; there were three children that were racing and it was too difficult to get them to the races at one time. I just had to wait ‘til I was 15.”

Sep and his brother Ken raced together for two years. Second place in the 2008 Deinze-Ieper one-day race matters a lot to Sep, because that day his brother Ken won. Sep became a professional cyclist in August, 2009.

Hard worker

In 2011 Sep Vanmarcke rode well to position Hushovd for a shot at Paris-Roubaix — one of Vanmarcke’s favorite races, and ultimately supported Vansummeren’s win as well as finding 20th place for himself. He worked for Heinrich Haussler at the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke, and later in August for Dan Martin at the Vuelta.

These valuable domestique performances landed Vanmarcke among the five nominees on the HLN reader’s poll for best Belgian worker in 2011, the Crystal Sweat Drop Award (the award is a glass replica of a drop of sweat). Readers voted Vanmarcke into third place, the middle of the pack — the only time you’re ever find the cobble-loving on-the-attack Vanmarcke in that position.

Sep Vanmarcke, November 2011, in Boulder (photo by Mary Topping)

Career details

Born: July 28, 1988, in Kortrijk , Belgium

Race results highlights:

  • 2011 —  2nd Westrozebeke, 4th E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke, 4th stage 20 of Tour of Spain
  • 2010 — mountains jersey Four Days of Dunkirk, 2nd Gent-Wevelgem, 2nd overall Franco-Belge, 2nd Wanzele
  • 2009 — 1st stage 2 Ronde van Vlaams-Brabant, 1st Trognée-Hannut, 1st stage 1 U-23 Tour du Haut Anjou, 5th stage 1 & 6th stage 3 of Tour de l’Avenir, 24th U-23 World Championships
  • 2008 — 1st stage 2 Ronde van Vlaams-Brabant, 1st Kruishoutem, 2nd Deinze-Ieper, 2nd Omloop van de Gouden Garnaal
  • 2007 to 2004 — numerous top 10’s and 15 wins


KSV-Deerlijk Gaverzicht, 2003 – 2006 (Juniors)

CLC team Ingelmunster, 2007

Young Flanders-Davitamon-Lotto, 2008

Jong Vlaanderen-Bauknecht, 2009 (until August)

Topsport Vlaanderen, 2009 – 2010

Garmin Barracude, 2011 – present

[With gratitude to Cindy Trossaert for Creative Commons sharing on Flickr.]

From → Pro-Cyclists

  1. Great blog. Really fun to learn more about Sep’s background and career.

  2. I agree with Julie. Love learning about the up-and-comers, and he seems to be a pretty good guy. Thanks for the info! 🙂

    • Very welcome, Jennifer. Thanks for your comment and feel free to suggest riders you might want to know more about.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Scheldeprijs « ProVéloPassion
  2. Scheldeprijs — a first-time winner for 2012? « ProVéloPassion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: