Eddy Merckx biographies are like London buses. You wait an age for one then two come along at the same time. Cycling author Daniel Friebe and William Fotheringham have been busy unearthing the story behind the sport’s greatest rider and we’ve got three copies of Friebe’s book to give away on the forum.
Merckx amassed an astonishing 525 victories during a professional career which spanned from 1964 1978, winning five Tours de France, five Giro d’Italia titles, three World Championships and a host of Classics, including Milan-San Remo on seven occassions.
“The man who raced was a cannibal who devoured his rivals, with eyes only for victory,” reads the book’s blurb. “He was unmatched and insatiable; some even said he had magic in his legs. But the man who stepped onto the podium was an enigma. Unable to get to the bottom of what gave the Cannibal his hunger, frustrated journalists concluded that Eddy Merckx must simply be a machine.
“The truth was more complicated. Merckx was plagued with nerves and self-doubt, which he could only escape when racing. Off his bike, he obsessed about every ache, despite enduring enormous physical pain to be first to cross the line. His peers reconciled themselves to defeat, but Merckx feared losing more than anything else. And when the inevitable end of his career dawned he was ill equipped to recognise or admit his decline.”
To win a copy of Friebe’s book, head over to the forum and tell us why Merckx was greatest rider of all time in this thread. Bonus points for pictures and YouTube clips. Or if you think there’s been a better rider, tell us who and why.