In an effort to find my inner Cannibal, I’ve been reading books and watching videos about Eddy Merckx this fall. I am finding him to be an intriguing creature, now that I’m scratching the ‘greatest of all time, etc.’ surface and getting to ‘know’ him a little better. More on this later, but I wanted to share a story that might typify why he was such a dominant figure in the sport.
Patrick Sercu, a rider for the Brooklyn team, recounts a little tale that happened in the early 70s. Sercu was driving from Ghent to Liège with his dad because his team had called him in at the last moment to race La Doyenne. It was blowing and snowing on the road from Brussels to Liège. Suddenly, they saw a cyclist up ahead. They both wondered out loud who’d be nuts enough to be out on the main road in these conditions. Of course it was Eddy Merckx. Apparently, he was riding the 100 kilometers from Brussels alone because he hadn’t won Flèche Wallonne a couple of days earlier. He won L-B-L the next day, 5 minutes ahead of the next rider.
Stories like this both shame and motivate me. Living the Le Sud, I am programmed to hit the turbo if I see a couple of clouds in the sky. I think I need to go up to Belgium for some toughening up.
13 thoughts on “An Eddy Story”
When looking up the definition of Cycling RULE #5, there’s a picture of Eddy.
You said it.
Racing in Belgium is an experience…
You should know. I forgot to ask you about the race you did this year. Tough competition?
I only did one road race this year in Belgium. My aim was not to get dropped. Goal accomplished 🙂 yes, competition is tough, but I know I don’t have the engine and it is what it is: a four cylinder can’t win against the 8…
Did u watch a Sunday in hell? Harder than eddy only, the mechanics…
I’ve seen it a few times, yeah. The documentaries of that time are awesome. Try ‘La Course en Tete’. It’s mesmerizing.
He is next on my list of autobiographies to read, the man is an animal
Half Man, Half Bike is a very good read.
thanks, I will take a look
Be careful for what you wish for. Trying to be like Eddie might kill you.
I agree. It’s more like my ‘inner herbivore’, I think.
Time to un-program yourself & get some extra bike outfits?