Every cyclist has heard of Eddy Merckx; heard how he won nearly every race in pro cycling, and many of them more than once. Heard how he is rated by many as the greatest cyclist there ever was. And how we will never see his like again.
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His career is vast. Merckx won Milan-San Remo seven times, Liège-Bastogne-Liège four times, Paris-Roubaix three times, the Tour of Flanders and Il Lombardia twice. And that’s just the monuments. Merckx was world champion four times, once as an amateur and three times as a pro. He won Tour de France and Giro d’Italia five times and the Vuelta once. And then there are his records.
His 1972 Hour Record fell in 1984, but others still stand. The most Grand Tours with 11 wins; the most Giro-Tour doubles with three; the highest number of Grand Tour stage wins, 64; the highest number of Tour de France stage wins, 34. And Eddy Merckx is still the only rider ever to have won the overall, points and King of the Mountains in the Tour de France.
But what is the story behind the records, behind the 525 professional race victories amassed at a rate of up to 50 a year? Averaged out, Eddy Merckx won a race every ten days through his 13-year pro career. How was he able to do that? What motivated him? What drove him to pursue victory with a relentless determination that means he didn’t just stamp his name on an era, he dominated it to the extent that there was little left for anyone else? And how did his rivals react to it, and to him?
The answers are in a new guide called ‘Eddy Merckx’. It’s produced by the makers of Cycling Weekly, and is the first in a series of Cycling Legends. Eddy Merckx is an in-depth look at the world’s most famous cyclist. It’s the story of his life and cycling career told with the help of perspectives from rivals team mates and other contemporaries, as well as using archive reports and new insight.
Eddy Merckx answers fundamental questions about why he dominated like he did, and how he was able to build a career that will never be equalled. Above all it analyses what drove Eddy Merckx, what motivated him to build a career so all-encompassing that they called him The Cannibal.
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