How they used to train: Eddy Merckx's chain gang

He might have been the greatest male road racer ever, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s Eddy Merckx also built one of the best teams ever. So how did he prepare them to race?

Illustration: Simon Scarsbrook

When Italian coffee machine manufacturer Faema recruited Eddy Merckx in 1968, part of the deal was to provide the cash not only to pay Merckx but to let him build the best team he could. That agreement was preserved when Molteni took over sponsoring Merckx’s team in 1971.

Eddy Merckx

Merckx looking effortlessly cool with an espresso.     Photo: Cycling Weekly Archive

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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