eBay Finds: Wim Van Huffel's Eddy Merckx Team SC bike
Vlaanderen team rider's machine from the 2002 season up for sale
Belgium's Wim Van Huffel would finish just outside the top 10 overall at the 2005 Giro d'Italia, having joined the famous Davitamon-Lotto squad (now Lotto Soudal) that season from smaller Belgian team Vlaanderen-T-Interim. Here for sale is his 2002 Eddy Merckx Vlaanderen team bike.
In the mid-2000s – particularly after that excellent 2005 Giro performance – Van Huffel was being touted as Belgian's next Grand Tour Big Thing. That 11th place, however, was as good as it got for him in the three-week races, although he enjoyed a fine pro career, which also included fourth at the 2005 Brabantse Pijl, 17th overall at the 2006 Giro, and consistent, double-figure placings at the hillier one-day Classics, such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia.
This lightweight Easton scandium aluminium frame comes complete with all its original components, as ridden by Van Huffel during the 2002 season. That includes the saddle, bar tape and chain, while a nice little detail is that the left shifter is apparently shows signs of wear due to Van Huffel having worn a ring on his finger.
The groupset is Campagnolo's perfectly good Chorus line – although we were initially a little unsure whether Van Huffel and his pro teammates would have used that rather than Campag's top-of-the-range Record componentry. But the seller addresses the issue, and states that the Vlaanderen team did indeed use Chorus rather than Record.
The seller is based in Geraardsbergen, Belgium – and it doesn't get much more Belgian when it comes to cycling than that – and they're asking €1,750 (£1,530) for the bike, which comes complete with a race-number-holder containing race number 114 and race sponsor KBC's logos on it.
The description doesn't state which race the number's from, and we've tried – but failed – to work it out from the start lists available for the races Van Huffel rode in 2002, but Belgian bank KBC is a big supporter of cycling in Flanders.
That year, and on this very bike, it would seem, Van Huffel's best results included ninth place at Spanish one-day the GP Llodio, ninth on a stage of the Tour de la Region Wallonne, 11th place at Le Samyn and 13th place at the Hel van het Mergelland – a race that he'd win the following year, and which would prove to be the only pro victory of his career.
Van Huffel dropped down to the Continental level with the Vorarlberg-Corratec team for 2009, and appears to have ridden his last race in July 2011, finishing 76th at Belgian one-day race the Dwars door het Hageland, the year after racing for a season with Greek Continental outfit Team Worldofbike.gr.
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line
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