Maurice De Waele (pronounced [mʌuˈriz ˈʋaːlə]; 27 December 1896 – 14 February 1952) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer.[1]

Maurice De Waele
De Waele at the 1929 Tour de France
Personal information
Full nameMaurice De Waele
Born(1896-12-27)27 December 1896
Lovendegem, East Flanders, Belgium
Died14 February 1952(1952-02-14) (aged 55)
Maldegem, East Flanders, Belgium
Team information
Amateur team
Professional teams
1924Wonder-Russell Cycles
1927Alcyon-Dunlop, Labor-Dunlop
Major wins
National Championships (1922)

Grand Tours

Tour de France
General classification (1929)
5 individual stages (1927-1929)

Other Stage races

Grand Prix Alceida (1924)
Criterium du Midi (1926)
Tour of the Basque Country (1928, 1929)
Tour of Belgium (1931)

One-day races and Classics

Brussels–Luxembourg–Mondorf (1922)
Arlon–Oostende (1923)
GP Alceida (1926)
Paris–Menen (1926, 1927)
Omloop van België (1930)

De Waele placed second in the 1927 Tour, an hour and fifty eight minutes behind Nicolas Frantz, and third in 1928, again won by Frantz. However, he is most famous for winning the 1929 Tour de France. He led the Tour until stage seven when two punctures on the way to Bordeaux cost him the yellow jersey to no less than three other riders on the same time in the general classification, Frantz, Andre Leducq and Victor Fontan. Fontan was the sole leader of the race when a broken bike led to his retirement, leaving De Waele in the lead, seventy five seconds ahead of Frantz. However, punctures to De Waele gave the lead to his nearest rival until he too suffered the same problem. With Frantz out of the running for the title, sickness in Grenoble nearly cost him too but with help from his teammates, he was led to victory.[2]

After winning the 1929 Tour, the organiser, Henri Desgrange despaired so much of the trickery that he thought had let such a minor rider succeed that he abandoned commercially sponsored teams and ran the Tour for national teams for two decades. Desgrange had until then insisted that while riders could compete in the name of their sponsors, cooperation or tactics between those riders was not allowed. They were to consider everyone their rival and ride against them whether they had the same sponsor or not.

Maurice De Waele publicity picture (before 1932)

De Waele was sponsored by the French bicycle company, Alcyon, whose ability to employ many of the leading riders gave it a dominant place in the sport. Clashes between Alcyon and Desgrange were frequent and came to a head when De Waele won the Tour with the illegal help of other Alcyon riders even though he was ill.

"My Tour has been won by a corpse," Desgrange complained and from the following year denied entries to commercial teams and accepted national teams instead.

De Waele finished 5th in 1931. Other notable wins include the 1928 and 1929 Tour of the Basque Country.[3]

Career achievements



1st Overall Tour of Belgium Independents
1st   National Cyclo-cross Championships
1st Bruxelles-Luxembourg-Mondorf
1st Bruxelles-Liège (fr)
2nd Belgian National Road Race Championships Independents
2nd Overall Tour of Belgium Independents
1st Stage 3
2nd De Drie Zustersteden
3rd Grand Prix François Faber


1st   Overall Le Havre-Rouen-Le Havre
1st Stage 2
1st Arlon-Oostende
2nd Belgian National Road Race Championships
2nd Paris–Brussels
2nd Scheldeprijs
3rd National Cyclo-cross Championships
4th Overall Tour of Belgium
5th De Drie Zustersteden
1st   Overall Circuit des villes d'eaux d'Auvergne (fr)
1st Stage 1
1st   Overall Grand Prix Alceida
1st Stage 1
1st Stage 2 Tour of Belgium
2nd National Cyclo-cross Championships
2nd De Drie Zustersteden
3rd Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
6th Liège-Bastogne-Liège
6th Paris–Brussels
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Tour of Flanders
1st Kampioenschap van Oost-Vlaanderen
1st Balgerhoeke
2nd Overall Tour of Belgium
2nd Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
3rd Circuit du Massif Central
6th Tour of Flanders
7th Paris–Roubaix
1st Paris-Menin (fr)
1st Circuit Vosges-Alsace
1st Saint-Brieuc-Brest-Saint-Brieuc
1st Grand Prix Alceida
2nd Paris-Saint-Étienne (fr)
3rd Paris-Longwy (fr)
5th Scheldeprijs
6th Paris–Brussels
Tour de France
2nd Overall, @ + 1h 48' 21"
1st, Stage 2 (Dieppe - Le Havre), 103km
1st, Stage 13 (Perpignan - Marseille), 360km
1st Paris-Menin (fr)
3rd Tour of Flanders
3rd Paris–Brussels
Tour de France
3rd Overall, @ + 56' 16"
1st, Stage 8 (Bordeaux - Hendaye), 225km
1st, Stage 20 (Charleville - Malo-les-Bains), 271km
1st   Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 2
2nd Bordeaux–Paris
6th Paris–Brussels
Tour de France
1st   Overall, 5254km in 186h 39' 16" (28.319km/h)
1st, Stage 20 (Charleville - Malo-les-Bains), 270km
1st   Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 3
2nd Paris–Brussels
2nd Overall Tour of Belgium
3rd Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
7th Paris–Tours
4th Tour of Flanders
6th Paris–Roubaix
1st   Overall Tour of Belgium
1st Lebbeke
5th Overall Tour de France
9th Road race, UCI World Championships

Grand Tour results timeline

1927 1928 1929 1930 1931
Stages won
Tour de France 2 3 1 DNE 5
Stages won 2 2 1 0
Vuelta a España N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Stages won
1 Winner
2–3 Top three-finish
4–10 Top ten-finish
11– Other finish
DNE Did not enter
DNF-x Did not finish (retired on stage x)
DNS-x Did not start (not started on stage x)
HD Finished outside time limit (occurred on stage x)
DSQ Disqualified
N/A Race/classification not held
NR Not ranked in this classification


  1. ^ "Maurice De Waele". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Palmarès de Maurice De Waele (Bel)". (in French). Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Maurice de Waele". 2023.