Retired Belgian sports journalist Jan Wauters died Friday night at the age of 71. He worked for the BRT (Belgian Radio and Television) , covering sports for Belgian radio, including 25 Tours de France.
Wauters suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and passed away in hospital. The funeral is planned for Saturday, June 12.
He joined the news department of BRT in 1964, moving to the sports department 18 months later. He was named head of the sports department in 1973, and retired in 2000.
One of the highlights of his career was covering the 1989 Tour de France battle between Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon. According to Sporza.be, he was known not only for his reporting but also for his critical commentary.
He spent much time covering Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who as hit hard by the news. “This is a big blow,” he told Sporza. “I didn't know he was so badly off.”
"I remember Jan as a great reporter and a wonderful human being. We had a lot of joy but also some sadness."
Merckx said that he and Wauters had become friends, and that he had been an excellent journalist. "Jan posed pertinent questions which were also in-depth. He was professional and not just out for sensation, as is currently often the case."