Currently alive, at 72 years of age.
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1945 – Edouard Louis Joseph Merckx or Eddy Merckx born on the 17th of June in Meensel-Kiezegem, Vlaams Brabant, Belgium. He is a retired Belgian professional cyclist. Considered by many fans to be the greatest and most successful cyclist of all time, he set several world records some of which remain unsurpassed to this day.
1961 – 1978 – He won 525 races out of about 1800. For his enormous willpower and his insatiable appetite for winning (victory) Merckx was given the nickname "The Cannibal".
1961 – He started competing.
1967 – Married Claudine Acou, his mother had asked the priest to celebrate the entire ceremony in French, a choice that ended up being a contentious issue in Belgium. They had two children: a daughter (Sabrina) and a son (Axel, who also became a professional cyclist).
1969 – His first Tour, he broke all the rules about conservation of energy. The summit of his extravagance came in the Pyrenees. Already ahead by an extraordinary eight minutes (forever, by modern standards), he romped away to double his lead in just one stage.
– In Paris he had an 18-minute lead over his closest pursuer and won beside the yellow jersey also the polka-dot (king of the mountain) jersey and the green jersey which, at the time, represented the points winner.
1975 – After years of supremacy, his 6th, was his turning point. In the Pyrenees, he was unable to keep up with the climbing specialists and had sub-par performances in the time-trial races. Finally, in the Alps, in the stage from Nice to Pra-Loup he fully blocks 3.5km before the top and is passed by Bernard Thévenet, the future winner. The second place in Paris was ‘beneden zijn stand.’ 3 years later at the age of 33 he rides his last race.
1996 – The Belgian king gave him the lifelong title of baron.
2000 – He was chosen Belgian "Sports Figure of the Century".