Édouard Louis Joseph (born 17 June 1945) better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is widely regarded as the most successful cyclist in the history of competitive cycling.
He is nicknamed ‘The Cannibal’ and ‘Cycling God’ owing to his insatiable appetite for victories. He dominated and won almost every race he participated in during his career that spanned across 13 seasons from 1965 to 1978. Eddy is known to be an iconic figure in the world of bicycle riding and cycle racing.
Eddy Merckx has to his credit an unequalled 11 Grand Tours which include 5 Tours De France, 5 Giro d’Italias, 1 Vuelta a España, 3 World Championships, and 19 Monument classics (including a record 7 editions of Milan-San Remo).
He is one of the only three riders to have won all five ‘Monuments’ and the only one to have won them all twice or more.
He has a total of 525 victories over his 18-year career, and also has the credit of breaking the World Hour Record with an unparalleled record distance of 49.431 km at the altitude of 2,300m (7,500 ft) in Mexico City. The record stood for 12 years.
In terms of sheer physical effort, Merckx achievements exceeds around 5,00,000 km of riding.
Post retirement, Eddy Merckx kept his passion for cycling alive by founding Eddy Merckx Cycles in 1980. This Belgian cycle brand is considered one of the most prestigious brands in the world. Eddy Merckx Cycles is known to be an elite chain and distributes across 25 countries.
Eddy Merckx has also coached various professional cycling teams after his retirement. Merckx coached the Belgian national cycling team for 11 years.
In 1996, Merckx was honored with the title of ‘Baron’ by the king of Belgium, Albert II and the title ‘Cavaliere’ by the Italian. In 2011, he was named ‘Commander de la Legion d’honneur’ by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy.