It was interesting to read Angel Garcia's contribution about Flandria and Superia bikes from Belgium It took me back to some halcyon days spent in that wonderful country, visiting some of the small builders and then.. every two years the Brussels bike show, held in an incredible glass-roofed arched hangar of a building, just by the famous Atomium monument.. and not far from an equally famous ( to some people) monument to cycling - Eddy Merckx's workshops.
I'm not too sure if there was a spelling mistake in the original textt Angel from which Angel was quoting but the "Superior" brand was in fact "SUPERIA". Just as Flandria will always be remembered for their bright red and chrome frames so no one will easily forget the dark ink-blue of the top Superias, with their white transfers. A few years ago when the Coppi brand was relaunched.. the manufacturer produced a top-level frame with virtually the same finish as the Superia as did Colnago for one of the Dutch Pro teams in the early 90s. Sheer class !
As for current day Flandrias.. I am not sure that the account in "Cycling News" is 100% correct. A s far as I know there is no company in the UK that has bought out the rights to that brand.. and it is unlikely that anyone is manufacturing them over here. In the early 80s I met a Belgian, Wim Van den Sande, at the Paris Show, who was a director of a wholesaler based at Herzele, near Ghent, trading as STAR Imports. At the time I was promoting a very dynamic French brand -GELIANO - and Wim had taken a fancy to the extensive and beautifully built and sprayed frames..
We did a deal.. but shortly afterwards he approached me about importing his new Belgian brand of frames - FLANDERS- to the UK. These were made in a variety of small workshops in the Ghent area. Several years later the range was impressive.. and I sold quite a few on to top UK amateur riders who had a strong leaning towards all things Belgian.
It has been something of a tradition among English amateur riders top try to seek fame and fortune in pelotons hammering over the Belgian pave .. isn't that where Tommy Simpson, Barry Hoban, Alan Ramsbottom.. made their debut on continental roads..
Eventually I decided to concentrate on the French suppliers and gave up my regular contacts with the Belgians including "STAR - FLANDERS". However I understand that some of the UK amateurs who went over there to ride did in fact, in the early to mid 90s start a small semi-Pro racing team over here in the UK sponsored by FLANDERS-ASFRA.. and that someone has reintroduced the marque to these shores.
That story is correct.. as far as it goes.. but we have all moved on, so who can be sure.
Norris Lockley... thinking about Belgian (French) fries and mayonnaise.. the essential diet of the all Belgian supporters of the northern springtime Classics.. Settle, UK
No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.289 / Virus Database: 265.4.6 - Release Date: 05/12/2004