Standing aloof as the era-defining rider in a cycle-fanatic Belgium, Eddy Merckx protrudes among all those cycle heroes.
Indeed, debates arose many times about who could be the greatest cyclist of all time, and sure, Eddy always took the number one stand.
Today, this Brussels-raised rider flaunts a colossal net worth of $20 million. Thanks to Eddy’s determination and hard work, to establish himself as the most successful rider in competitive cycling history.
As a matter of fact, he is well-known as “The Cannibal,” a nickname he got from the daughter of a teammate, Christian Raymond, for his competitive nature.
Here, we will be covering his achievements in a brief while digging out his lifestyle and worth.
|Full Name||Édouard Louis Joseph Merckx|
|Date of Birth||17 June 1945|
|Birth Place||Meensel-Kiezegem, Belgium|
|Nick Name||The Cannibal|
|Age||75 years old|
|Height||1.82 meters (5 feet 11 1⁄2 inches)|
|Weight||74 kg (163 lbs)|
|Hair Color||Black (natural)|
|Father’s Name||Jules Merckx|
|Mother’s Name||Jenny Merckx|
|Siblings||A younger brother Michel Merckx and younger sister Micheline Merckx|
|Wife||Claudine Acou Merckx (m. 1967)|
|Kids||A son, Axel Merckx, and daughter, Sabrina Merckx|
|Discipline||Road and track|
|Amateur Team||Evere Kerkhoek Sportif|
|Net Worth||$20 million|
|Merch||Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal, Poster, Cycling Legend Magazine Issue 1|
Eddy Merckx | As a whole
Born to Jenny and Jules Merckx, Eddy was a competitive child since his early days and often indulged in several sports. Additionally, he fell in love with bikes at the young age of four and often rode himself to school.
Starting first with the imitated stunts with friends, Eddy dropped out of school for cycling. Although he started in 1961 with an amateur team, Evere Kerkhoek Sportif, he stepped professionally four years later in 1965.
With more than a decade-long career, Eddy has decorated himself with 525 victories. He has bagged eleven Grand Tours during the tenure, all five Monuments, three World Championships, and every major one-day race other than Paris–Tours.
Well, his foremost victory was back in 1961 at Petit-Enghien as an amateur. Later, he bagged his first professional win at the Milan–San Remo.
Altogether, in October 1972, Eddy surpassed the hour record while extending it to almost 800 meters. Furthermore, for all five Monuments win, he is among the only three riders to have won them.
In the meantime, he is also the first rider to claim cycling’s Triple Crown during the UCI Road World Championships. Among the wins, Eddy has claimed twenty-eight classic races.
Indeed, as he came as a dominating figure in the limelight, the period was named the “Merckx Era.”
Honors and Achievements
As a fun fact, Eddy Merckx has achieved so much till today that cyclists find it harder to overcome his shadow to establish their own name.
Apparently, his name has gone so huge that people often criticize him for his relentless pursuit of victory.
Well, Eddy does have a fitting reply to his criticisms.
“The day when I start a race without intending to win it, I won’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.”
True to his words, the Belgian cyclist has won numerous awards and accolades during his active years. Some of his honors are listed below.
- Created Baron Merckx by Royal Decree, with the devise Post Proelia Premia.
- 2014 commander of the Legion of Honour.
- Officer in the Order of Leopold II.
- Knight in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
- Silver medal of the Olympian Order.
How much does Eddy Merckx have?
Eddy Merckx is much more than a former professional road and tracks bicycle racer.
In fact, he is an entrepreneur, and he owns his own bicycle chain, Eddy Merckx Cycles factory is located at an industrial estate off the Brussels ring road.
Eddy states that he learned his work ethic from his father, a grocer and shopkeeper in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. Well, Eddy Merckx retired from cycling in 1978, aged 32.
However, he wasn’t satisfied yet with the thirst for cycling and thus, commenced his own successful business in racing bikes few years after his retirement. Eddy has a love for different types of bikes.
Eddy Merckx Bikes
“Don’t buy upgrades; ride upgrades.”
On March 28, 1980, Eddy founded Eddy Merckx Cycles in Brussels to manufacture high-end road bikes. Initially, he learned the idea from the Italian bike manufacturer Ugo De Rosa during his tenure in Italy.
Back then, he took lessons and trained from De Rosa and later started in Meise.
Following the bloom, they shifted to the bordering municipality of Zellik, which first portrayed their work with steel.
Eventually, with time, they started using aluminum and titanium. However, if you go for today’s content, they have used carbon fibers to enhance bikes’ stiffness and make them lighter.
Also, today it stands as the most prestigious bicycle brand in the world. They currently feature five bike lines; Eddy Merckx EMX-525, EMX-3, ETT, EMX-1, and AMX-1.
Among them, Eddy Merckx EMX-525 is the road bike, which is often reviewed as one of the fastest and excellent responsive bikes in the world.
Apparently, the bike showcases an asymmetrical design with higher frame stiffness, well-known for its stability, power, and speed.
Likewise, the EMX-3 bike is designed more for comfortable rides and includes electronic or mechanical shifting. Following it, ETT is mostly used on a trial basis.
Similarly, EMX-1 is simply an entry-level bike, while AMX-1 is the custom-built one with the demand.
Apart from these, the company is sponsored by professional riders.
To illustrate, many riders have flaunted in these bikes like Erik Vanderaerden, Erik Zabel, Robbie McEwen, Frankie Andreu, Lance Armstrong, Steve Bauer, to name a few.
Furthermore, teams like Panasonic, Kelme, 7 Eleven, Telekom, Motorola, and Quickstep have flexed with these bikes.
Not to mention, Eddy Merckx Cycles had also taken over fellow Belgium bike business Race Productions, the parent to Ridley.
Indeed, the deal took Eddy into the international market. However, Eddy had already stepped down as CEO way back in 2008 and even sold most of his shares. Indeed, it’s his presence and innovation that the company continues to flourish.
Apart from investing all his time in his company, Eddy has also helped many to come to their feet and has worked in a lot.
In between the timeframe of 1986 and 1996, Eddy had managed the Belgian national team world championships.
At the same time, he was also the race director for the Tour of Flanders. Additionally, he was indulged with CGER Bank while he was sponsoring the youth team.
Following it, he contributed to help organize the cycle race all around Brussels named the Grand Prix Eddy Merckx.
Starting from early 2000 till 2017, Eddy organized and co-owned the Tour of Qatar race. He worked alongside then Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Amaury Sport Organisation during the tenure.
Well, the race later came to an end in 2017 due to financial problems. In between the same time period, Eddy also co-owned the Tour of Oman.
Eddy Merckx | Lifestyle
Back then, during his time as a racer, Eddy used to smoke to calm his nerves. However, now, he leads a lavish and healthy life.
As an athlete, Eddy was more into light foods with meat and, of course, loads of soup.
Besides living a happy life, Eddy is also focused on helping people around him. Indeed, he is mostly indulged in behind-the-scenes helping.
Also, for charitable works, he has joined hands with many of the foundations.
For instance, Eddy’s company works along with Wings for Life, with which they have thousands of euros as donations every year. Likewise, he is also contributing to the MAD CHARITY.
Unfortunately, Eddy Merckx is not on any social media platform. Well, he doesn’t use any of the platforms; however, you can check out the Instagram page for his company.
It is on Instagram as Eddy Merckx Bikes (@eddymerckxbikes), with 37.2k followers.
- “Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”
- “Cyclists live with pain. If you can’t handle it, you will win nothing.”
Some lesser-known facts on Eddy Merckx.
- In 1996, King Albert II gave Eddy the noble title of ‘Baron Eddy.’ Additionally, Albert’s son Philip calls him ‘the greatest name in Belgian cycling.’
- Eddy has been caught in three separate doping incidents during his career.