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It may have escaped your notice, but it’s Eddy Merckx’s 70th birthday today, and in the age of social media this means riders and races taking to Twitter and Instagram to congratulate the great man.

1. Fabian Cancellara

With three wins at Paris-Roubaix, Cancellara matched Merckx’s total in 2013, with a third Tour of Flanders victory the following year giving him one up on one of his racing idols.

2. Tour of Flanders

Merckx won two Tour of Flanders, six years apart in 1969 and 1975, and the guys at the Ronde remembered one of those wins in this classic shot.

3. Tour de France

Of course, it wasn’t just the Classics where Merckx excelled. His five Tour de France titles equalled the tally of Jacques Anquetil and has since been matched by Bernhard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

4. Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins regularly states that his idol growing up was Indurain, but the connoisseur of cycling history took to Instagram to wish Merckx a happy birthday.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 11.47.07

5. Giro d’Italia

Not only does Merckx hold the record for most Tour wins, he matched Alfredo Binda and Fausto Coppi’s five Giro d’Italia victories in 1974, completing the Giro/Tour double on three occasions.

6. UCI

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, used this iconic picture of Merckx in yellow showing his immense strength in the mountains.

7. Team Belgium

In the mid-90s, Merckx had a spell as coach of the Belgian national team and was part of the Belgian Olympic Committee.

8. Paul Sherwen

Sherwen has been commentating on the Tour de France for some decades now, but the former pro was a fresh-faced 13-year-old when Merckx won his first Tour in 1969.

9. Eddy Merckx Bikes

Post-retirement, Merckx set up his own eponymous bike company, who have created a special limited edition machine for his 70th birthday.

10. RSC Anderlecht

It’s not just the world of cycling that joined in the celebrations either, with Merckx’s beloved Anderlecht Football Club getting in on the act as well.

 

Sean Kelly talks about the challenges of the cobbled classics

  • Timlewis

    Freddie Merckx.. Get over it you old git!!!!

  • Freddie Merckx

    It’s “won”, not one. You write like you’re chemically assisted. The best you can rebut my post with is “doping cheat”.

    Little point trying to reason with a clown, have a nice day Tim and enjoy your padded walls

  • Timlewis

    Freddy Merckx.. That doper Merckx couldn’t of one half as much without chemical assistance!! A doping cheat !!

  • Freddy Merckx

    For any cyclist with even a medium appreciation of the sports history (i.e. those who discovered the sport before July 2012), Merckx is regarded as the greatest cyclist ever – which he irrefutably is.

    So Mr Lewis, you are welcome to bleat your sanctimonious waffle and diatribe as much as you want but we’re not listening to you, nor will you ever convince us to change our opinion.

    In the same vein (excuse the pun), there are many who still respect that Lance won 7 Tours, which lets face it, he did. This thought probably makes you angry and keeps you awake at night, but for the rest of us we simply regard Eddy, Lance & Co as the best of their time, having thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment that they and their equally doped challengers gave us.

    So if you believe there is no place in cycling for those who cheat, I suggest you find a sport more in line with your high ideals – which happens to rule out nearly every Olympic sport out there. Have a nice day!

  • Bob

    Simply the best ever, I cant think of anyone before or since who dominated and won more prestigious races – a legend

  • Timlewis

    Freddy Merckx.. Let’s all wish lance Armstrong happy birthday as well.. No place for dopers liars and cheats in this sport

  • Freddy Merckx

    Who cares, I was the best ever. Be quiet you clown!

  • Tim lewis

    Eddy Merckx.. Another doper in the peloton.. Let’s all wish lance Armstrong happy birthday as well.. only difference was doper Merckx got away with it lightly!!!