How they used to train: Eddy Merckx’s pre-1969 Tour de France week

How the Cannibal trained to get ready for his first Tour de France win in the 1969 edition of the race

Eddy Merckx has the best record of any male pro road racer ever. You name it and Merckx won it. Except Paris-Tours, which gave another 70s pro a lovely one-liner.

He was Noel Van Tyghem, a Belgian like Merckx, and in 1972 Van Tyghem won Paris-Tours, a real classic in its day, but he didn’t win much else in his career.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Chris Sidwells
Freelance Journalist & Author

Chris has written thousands of articles for magazines, newspapers and websites throughout the world. He’s written 25 books about all aspects of cycling in multiple editions and translations into at least 25

different languages. He’s currently building his own publishing business with Cycling Legends Books, Cycling Legends Events,, and the Cycling Legends Podcast