Merckx is known in racing circles as “the Cannibal”. I first came across his name when looking at vintage racing bikes and the spelling struck me as odd, it had to be a marketing gimmick. Nope. The Belgian comes by his last name honestly.

Merckx NowMerckx then.

He won 5 tours. Missed out on a 6th after getting punched in the liver by a spectator in 1975. What I loved about the article was the sense of a lifetime spent on two wheels and loving it. This man worked hard and rode hard. He rode in everything.

Perhaps more inspiring to me personally is that Merckx 450 race wins came after injuring his back in 1969.

There is also an obligatory mention of the drug use. Merckx having been banned from the Giro for stimulant use. While the drug use is not funny, an offhand comment by Anquetil made me giggle:

“Do they expect us to ride the Tour on Perrier water?”

Yes. Yes we do.

A fascinating bio of a wickedly strong rider. Merckx really was a Rouleur.