Eddy Merckx in hospital with head injury after bike crash

Merckx's wife says his condition is good, but when he can leave hospital is not yet clear

Eddy Merckx at the 2019 Tour de France (Kristoff van Accom/AFP/Getty Images)

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Eddy Merckx is in hospital with a head injury after falling off his bike during a ride with friends.

The 74-year-old was rushed to hospital in the Flemish city of Dendermonde, Belgium, as a precaution, with further examinations of his condition set to take place today.

>>> Raymond Poulidor’s condition has ‘improved significantly’ following hospitalisation

The cycling great was kept in overnight because of the pacemaker Merckx had fitted six years. He will now be transferred to a normal hospital room today, with a friend who had contact with his wife telling Belgian broadcaster Sporza: "I had contact with his wife last night. According to her it's all-in-all good."

Another legend of the sport, Raymond Poulidor, was hospitalised last week, with his family initially "very worried" before his condition "improved significantly on Friday following treatment.

Eddy Merckx is deemed by many to be the most successful rider in history, having won a record five Tour de France titles and 34 individual stages, five Giro d'Italia victories and 24 indvidual stages, while also winning all five Monuments multiple times.

The Grand Départ of the 2019 Tour de France was held in Brussels to honour the 50th anniversary of Merckx's first Tour de France victory.

Updates to follow...

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