Eddy Merckx is a Belgian former professional road and tracks bicycle racer, whose nickname is Cannibal for the way he devoured his rivals. He was born in Belgium on 17 June 1945 and he competed his first race in 1961 while started his career in 1965.Image result for Merckx
To exhibit Eddy Merckx’s glory, we should look back to the last century. As we were asked what did we want to do in the future, his first year as a professional (1965) Eddy Merckx was asked the not unusual question for a neo-pro, "What are your principal ambitions as a racing cyclist?" When Merckx was asked what his principal ambitions was as a racing cyclist in his first year as a professional, he replied, “win the Tour de France and set a new hour record.”
Eddy Merckx is considered to be the greatest road bike in history: He is the first cyclist who won the Tour de France five times (including his first time to participated the Tour de France), won a total of 34 stages and wore the yellow jersey for a total of 96 days. he also won the Giro d’ Italia five times, a Vuelta a Espana and three world championships.
In 1972, Merckx created a 49.431-hour record. According to the UCI date, Merckx’s record had kept for 28 years, demonstrating his great performance.
Merckx got his first bicycle at the age of three or four and won his first victory at Petit-Enghien in October 1961.Before he started his professional career, he had already won eighty races as an amateur racist.
In 1965, he signed with Rik Van Looy’s Belgian team, Solo Superia.in that year, he won his first race in Vilvoorde, beating Emile Daems and finished second in Belgian national championships.During his time with Van looy’s team, Merckx won nine races out of nearly 70 races he entered, and later he also stated that he hadn’t been taught anything during the time.
In 1966, as a professional rider, Merckx entered his first major stage, the Paris-Nice and came in fourth. At Milan-San Remo, Merckx beat other riders in the sprint, winning the competition.He finished 1966 season with a total of 20 wins.
In 1967, he signed with Faema and won the men’s road race at the 1967 UCI Road World Championships in Netherlands, making him the third rider who had won the world road race amateur and professional titles. And he also earned the right to wear the rainbow jersey as world champion.
In 1968, Merckx with his new team got their first victory in a stage win at the Giro di Sardegna and the second victory at Paris- Roubaix. At the behest of his team, Merckx entered the Giro d’Italia rather than the Tour de France and eventually won the event as a whole.He finished the season with 32 wins out of 129 races.In 1969, he got an injury and in 1970, he finished the Giro d’Italia with eight stage victories and won the mountains and combination classification.In 1971, he won a third consecutive Tour and second Championships.In 1972, he broke the hour record alongside a Giro-Tour double.In 1793, Merckx won four classics including Omloop Het Volk, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and Paris–Roubaix.And he closed the season with over fifty victories to his credit.In 1974, by winning the road race, Merckx became the first rider to win the Triple Crown of Cycling, consisting of winning the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and men's road race at the World Championships in one calendar.In the following years, he also won a lot of prizes.In 1978, he retired at the age of 32 and started his business and became a bicycle manufacturer.
InjuriesImage result for Merckx injury
Even though he was successful, Merckx was not immune to injury and accident.In the contrast, he suffered injuries more than others. As the race in 1969 illustrates. Merckx was in a derny-paced exhibition race, in which cyclists each follow their own motorcycle pacer around an oval track. A pacer and cyclist falling in front of Merckx forced Merckx and his pacer to fall. Merckx’s pacer was killed instantly and Merckx was hit on his head and turned unconscious, with his head bleeding heavily.Merckx suffered a concussion and required stitches to close the gaping wound. The worst lingering effect from the accident was that Merckx cracked one of his vertebrae and twisted his pelvis. This made climbing painful and, despite his amazing victory record, may have limited his winning to some extent.Image result for Merckx injuryMerckx experienced other injuries but was determined to carry on his winning ways. In the 1975 Tour de France on the climb up the Puy-de-Dome, a French spectator viciously punched Merckx in the stomach. A few days later, Merckx crashed and fractured his cheek bone, but still did not abandon the race. In the end, he lost the Tour to Bernard Thevenet: but by under three minutes.
Merckx’s demanding schedule took its toll on him. He won his last Grand Tour in 1974 at the age of 29 and his last major classic in the spring of 1976, at the age of 30. He retired two years later on May 17, 1978, at the age of 32.
The search for more speed will never stop even though the technical side of the sport may be controlled. Cycling is a sport of exploring and testing how human power can reach. And through those brilliant people, we know that the ability of human beings should not be judged and will not be limited.
Merckx was a hero of his era.