Edouard Louis Joseph Merckx (born June 17, 1945), popularly known as Eddy Merckx, is a former Belgian professional road and track bicycle racer. He was a professional cyclist from 1961 to 1978, riding for thirteen seasons. He is considered to be the most successful cyclists in history. Merckx was given the nickname “The Cannibal” for his insatiable appetite for victories. He won almost every important race, most of them more than once.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Eddy Merckx’s first major win was the 1966 Milan-San Remo when he was only 20 and his last victory was the same race but ten years later. He won a total of 525 victories including the Tour de France five times, the Giro d’Italia five times and the Vuelta an Espana once, a total of eleven Grand Tour victories. Merckx won nine races in his first season after switching to Peugeot-BP-Michelin for the 1966 and 1967 seasons. In 1972, he broke the world hour record in Mexico. The record was broken 12 years later by Francesco Moser.
Why Was He So Good?
Eddy Merckx had an appetite for racing and for winning. All cyclists look ferocious but he has the cannibal look when he races. Merckx was motivated not because of the money – it was an inner need to win and to win it in style. He was the type of person who wanted to win everything.
What You May Not Know
- Eddy excelled in a lot of sports but his true passion is cycling.
- His demanding schedule made him suffer so he retired at the age of 32 after winning his last major classic in the spring of 1976.
- In 1980, he opened a bicycle factory in Brussels, Belgium called “Eddy Merckx Cycles”.
- After retiring, he became the coach of the Belgian national cycling time during the 90s and became part of the Belgian Olympic Committee.
- Albert II of Belgium, King of the Belgians, gave Merckx the title of baron in 1996.
Was he a legend?
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