Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal

Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal

by Daniel Friebe


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Despite his unique achievements, we know little about the Cannibal beyond his victories—here is his full story
For 14 years between 1965 and 1978, Edouard Louis Joseph Merckx devoured his rivals, their hopes, and their careers. His legacy resides as much in the careers he ruined as the 445 victories—including five Tour de France wins and all the monument races—he amassed in his own right. So dominant had Merckx become by 1973 that he was ordered to stay away from the Tour for the good of the event. Stage 17 of the 1969 Tour de France perfectly illustrates his untouchable brilliance. Already wearing the yellow jersey on the col du Tourmalet, the Tour's most famous peak, Merckx powered clear and rode the last 140 kilometers to the finish-line in jaw-dropping solitude, eight minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. Merckx's era has been called cycling's Golden Age. It was full of memorable characters who, at any other time, would all have gone on to become legends, yet Merckx's phenomenal career overshadowed them all. How did he achieve such incredible success? And how did his rivals really feel about him? Merckx failed drug tests three times in his career—were they really set ups as he claimed? And what of the crash that killed Merckx's pacer Fernand Wambst, which Merckx claimed deeply affected him psychologically and physically? Or the attack by a spectator in 1975? This first comprehensive biography of Merckx in English will finally expose the truth behind this legendary man. A well-respected sports journalist, the author has access to the greats of the cycling world, and has spoken to the whole range of Merckx contemporaries to get the full inside story behind this remarkable athlete.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780091943165
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/19/2012
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 387,830
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Daniel Friebe is a cycling journalist and a veteran of nine Tours de France. He is the features editor of Procycling Magazine, the author of Mountain High, and he has written for publications including the Daily TelegraphFourFourTwo, Spin Cricket Monthly, and the Sunday Telegraph.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Folgorazione 11

2 Something in the Water 33

3 Fire and Ice 52

4 Eddy, Ciao 73

5 New World Order 78

6 End of the World as We Know It 100

7 Benefit of the Doubt? 114

8 First Man on the Moon 127

9 Down and Out? 149

10 A New Merckx 164

11 The Gypsy and a Nomad 174

12 Deplumed 199

13 If 220

14 Hour of Need 231

15 Sign of the Times 252

16 Knockout! 273

17 Cannibalised 293

18 A Spoonful of Sugar 306

19 Reinvention and Reappraisal 321

Epilogue 337

Acknowledgements 343

Index 345

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