Former world champion Jean Stablinski dies

Ex-miner rose to the top of his sport

Former French and world champion Jean Stablinski died on Sunday at the age of 75 after a long illness, sources close to the former cyclist said.

Stablinski, who was of Polish origin, was crowned French champion on four occasions during his 1952-1968 career. He won the first edition of the classic Amstel Gold Race and competed in twelve editions of the Tour de France.

The Frenchman's road racing abilities were aptly rewarded in 1962 when he won the World Cycling Championships in Salo, Italy, the first world championships to be televised.

After closing the chapter on his riding days Stablinski became sporting director to riders such as Lucien Van Impe and Bernard Hinault, two future winners of the Tour.

© AFP 2007

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