Jef Scherens

Family tree of Jef Scherens

Cycling

BelgianBorn Joseph Scherens

Belgian professional track cyclist

Born on February 17, 1909 in Werchter, Vlaams-Brabant , Belgium

Died on August 9, 1986 in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant , Belgium

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Joseph "Jef" Scherens (17 February 1909 – 9 August 1986), better known as Poeske Scherens, was a Belgian professional track cyclist, specializing in sprint where he won seven World Championships.

...   Joseph "Jef" Scherens (17 February 1909 – 9 August 1986), better known as Poeske Scherens, was a Belgian professional track cyclist, specializing in sprint where he won seven World Championships.


Biography


Early life
Jef Scherens was born in Werchter, the fifth child of the Felix Scherens-Regina Janssens family. Little Jef soon became 'Jefke', but also 'Poeterke'. In the Hageland, that was a name for a little goat or lamb that did not grow well. His fellow street rabble-rousers first distorted it into 'Poeter', which later became 'Poeske' (Flemish for "small cat"). When Jef Scherens later turned out to be a very fast sprinter with a cat-like final jump, that nickname was given existence.
From the age of five until the end of WWI, young Jef stayed with his family near Bordeaux, where he learned to speak French. At the end of primary school, the Committee for Vocational Orientation recommended that Jefke would go to work. So it happened: Jef worked in a leather factory and cycled up and down to Zaventem every day in group. That gave him the idea of trying out as a cyclist. His brother Giel, who was one year older, competed in the rookies. With one of his two racing bikes, Jef made his debut in a race in Betekom in 1926. That same year he won six victories and numerous places of honour. In 1927, he joined the Leuven Stoempersclub and won forty races in the newcomers' category. Because of the many successes, he decided to quit his job and put everything on cycling. The following year, he won 27 times among the juniors. In particular, his sprinting skills came to the fore.


Professional career
His qualities as a sprinter did not go unnoticed and the team's president Edward Van Hove, offered him a contract to compete in a sprint competition at the Brussels Sports Palace. On 14 October 1928, Scherens won against the then Belgian champion Jules Vervust. All connoisseurs were then convinced they had discovered a new champion.
In 1929, he won five road races. That year, he did his military service and was granted the privilege of training at certain times. A fall in 1930 kept him in bed for seven weeks.
In 1931, he made a comeback and became Belgian champion in the professional category. Between 1931 and 1947, he won the Belgian individual sprit championship 15 times.
In 1932, Scherens competed in the world championship in Rome and faced the Frenchman Lucien Michard in the final. Their duel lasted more than 20 minutes, however, so the jury decided to draw lots to see which of the two would go first. Michard was chosen and Scherens, with his famous spurt, won the title of world champion. He was celebrated in Leuven, where he had lived since 1930. He subsequently won the world track championships five times: in 1933 in Paris, in 1934 in Leipzig, in 1935 in Brussels, in 1936 in Zurich and in 1937 in Copenhagen. In July 1938, he had a serious fall during the Paris Grand Prix at the Cipale2. Not yet fully recovered from his fall, he lost his title to the Dutchman Arie van Vliet.
Van Vliet and Scherens met again a year later in the final in Milan and both fell. The final was postponed. The next day, the Second World War broke out and the championship was cancelled.
After a six-year break, the world championships were held again in Zurich in 1946. Scherens lost to the Frenchman Georges Senfftleben. The following year, he managed to win a seventh and final title in Paris.

Scherens also won numerous Grand Prix in various countries, breaking records at all the major velodromes in Europe. In 1933, he was awarded the Belgian National Sports Merit Award.
Since 1963, the Grote Prijs Jef Scheren has been held in his honour in Leuven, the place where he died in 1986.


Major Results


Honours
Officer in the Belgian Order of Leopold II: 1933
Belgian National Sports Merit Award: 1933
Grote Prijs Jef Scherens: from 1963
UCI Hall of Fame: 2002
A road, Jef Scherensstraat in Rotselaar


References


External links

Jef Scherens at Cycling Archives



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Geographical origins

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