Gazelle are perhaps most famous today for producing workhorses, the type produced in the hundreds of millions every year in Dieren, the Netherlands. Back in the 1960s however they were a much different beast.
After the introduction their 'Special Racing Division', much like our famous Special Division Unit of Raleigh in the 1980s, they assembled a professional cycling team sponsored by Dutch Cigar makers, Willem II. Under the management of Ton Vissers, the most successful rider in the Willem II-Gazelle team was undoubtedly Rik Van Looy, but also included greats such as Harn Ottenbros & Peter Post to name just a couple.
The team didn't make it far into the 1970s, but Gazelle's greatest years were yet to come. Their most famous race frame, the Champion Mondial had been introduced to the world by the mid 70s and many famous partnerships followed, with riders such as Roger De Vlaeminck, Jan Raas, Jean Paul Van Poppel, and Scotland's very own Philippa York, then Robert Millar, riding for the TVM-Sanyo-Gazelle in the early 1990s, all raced on the Gazelle Champion Mondial.
Before the Champion Mondial came the Gazelle 'Race'. Lesser known due to its scarcity but by no means less important. It was this model that Rik Van Looy & Harm Ottenbros spent the latter half of the 1960s racing on, and this bike here is purportedly one of the team bikes.
A sterling example of what they rode at the time, kitted out with Zeus gearing from the great Spanish manufacturer, braking as typical from Universal, plus a splattering of British kit from GB too. It's a real piece of history, and when you jump on the saddle you get a real sense of what it was like to race back then. Lightweight, un-complicated bikes that have stood the test of time, ridden by some of the toughest riders of their generation.
The rarity of this one is something rather special, it would make a perfect companion for one of the vintage cyclng events, particularly Eroica Limburg, where you may be lucky to meet one of the legendary Benelux riders themselves. We're certain it'd be talking point, that we can be sure of...
As with all our bikes, it's been fully stripped, inspected & professionally polished & re-built. The frame is straight & true without any dents or dings - please inspect the photos for cosmetic condition as we photograph the bikes so you can see the exact condition of the bike before purchasing.
Seat Tube: 53.5cm
Top Tube: 56cm
Head Tube: 112mm
Tubing: Reynolds 531
Frame No: 2236159 (Under BB)
Brakes: Universal Extra Mod 51
Brake Levers: Universal Mod 61
Crankset: Zeus Gran Sport - 53/42 - 170mm
Rear Derailleur: Zeus Criterium
Front Derailleur: Zeus Criterium 1st Gen
Freewheel: Regina Gran Sport-Corse - 5 Speed - 14-22
Chain: KMC 5 Speed
Pedals: Not Supplied
Bottom Bracket: Zeus Criterium
Hubs: Zeus Criterium
Rims: Nisi Moncalieri Sprints
Tyres: Hutchinson Corsa Senior - Tubular - 22m Width
Headset: Steel 1" Threaded
Handlebars: GB Ventoux (Map of Britain) - 37cm Width (ctc)
Stem: GB Metric 1" Quill - 90mm Extension
Bar Grip: Velox Tressorex - Black Cloth
Saddle: CInelli Unicanitor
Seatpost: Zeus Criterium - 27.2mm