Yvonne Reynders

Yvonne Reynders (born 4 August 1937) is a former track and road cyclist from Belgium. With Beryl Burton of Great Britain, Reynders was one of the top female riders of the 1960s, winning 13 medals at world championships, including seven gold medals.[1]

Yvonne Reynders
WK Wielrennen op de baan Amsterdam. fotonr. 9 Yvonne Reynders (Belgie) in ak…, Bestanddeelnr 920-6974.jpg
Yvonne Reynders in 1967
Personal information
Full nameYvonne Reynders
Born (1937-08-04) 4 August 1937 (age 84)
Schaerbeek, Belgium
Team information
DisciplineRoad and track
Medal record
Representing  Belgium
Road World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1959 Zandvoort Road race
Gold medal – first place 1961 Bern Road race
Gold medal – first place 1963 Renaix Road race
Gold medal – first place 1966 Nürburgring Road race
Silver medal – second place 1962 Salò Road race
Silver medal – second place 1965 Lasarte-Oria Road race
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Ostuni Road race
Track World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1961 Zurich Individual pursuit
Gold medal – first place 1964 Paris Individual pursuit
Gold medal – first place 1965 San Sebastián Individual pursuit
Silver medal – second place 1962 Milan Individual pursuit
Silver medal – second place 1963 Liège Individual pursuit
Silver medal – second place 1966 Frankfurt Individual pursuit

Reynders' first sport was athletics: her heroine was Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four sprint golds at the 1948 Summer Olympics. However, after her coaches told her that she did not have the speed on the track to follow in Blankers-Koen's footsteps, she initially switched to the discus, winning two consecutive Belgian junior discus titles in 1955 and 1956. Reynders then switched to cycle racing, having ridden a carrier tricycle when delivering coal in Antwerp after leaving school at the age of 16. In order to lose the muscle mass she had built up as a discus thrower, she developed a weekday routine of riding her race bike 40 km from her home in the Campine to Antwerp, where she did her 8–16 km coal round on her carrier trike in the morning, and then riding another 100–140 km on her racing bicycle along the Scheldt valley before returning home. After six months her weight had reduced from 74 kg to 59.5 kg. She subsequently won ten of the 14 races she entered in her first year, and earned selection to the Belgian national team.[2]

Reynders won her first world road title in 1959. In 1961 she won her second, defeating Burton and Elsy Jacobs, and also won the world individual pursuit title the same year.[2] She won two more road world titles, in 1963 on home ground in the Belgian city of Ronse, and in 1966 at the Nürburgring in West Germany, and another two track rainbow jerseys, in 1964 and 1965. She initially retired from competition in 1967, however she returned to racing in 1976 at the age of 39: she took her final world championship medal, a bronze, at that year's Road World Championships. She retired a second time the following year.[3]

Reynders is a pedicure specialist. She has never married.[4]


  1. ^ Yvonne Reynders at Cycling Archives
  2. ^ a b Sidwells, Chris (8 November 2016). "How they used to train: How delivering coal helped Yvonne Reynders become a multiple world champion". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. ^ "UCI Road World Championships – Yvonne Reynders, portrait of a pioneer". Union Cycliste Internationale. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  4. ^ ""Voor een tafelkleed als trofee dopeer je je niet"". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link). nieuwsblad.be. 24 August 2002