There will never be another Eddy Merckx: A “Merckx 525” Review

For a moment, never mind the doping scandals. When your friends that don’t follow cycling go on and on about how Lance was the greatest cyclist who ever lived, hand them Merckx 525 and let them read about Eddy Merckx – the most dominant cyclist ever, and the greatest athlete of the 20th century.

Lance Armstrong? 100 victories in several disciplines.

Alberto Contador? 74 road wins.

Eddy Merckx? 525 career victories. Let this sink in a little:

7x Milan-San Remo | 5x Liège-Bastogne-Liège | 3x Ghent-Wevelgem | 3x Paris-Roubaix | 3x Flèche Wallonne | 3x Paris-Nice | 2x Amstel Gold Race | 2x Omloop Het Volk | 2x Tour of Lombardy | 2x Tour of Flanders | 2x Tour of Belgium | 1x Dauphiné Libéré | 1x Midi Libre | 1x Grand Prix Frankfurt | 1x Paris-Brussels | 1x Scheldeprijs | 1x Tour de Suisse | 1x Tour de Romandie | 1x World Amateur Road Champion | 3x World Professional Road Champion | 1x Belgian Road Champion | 5x Tour de France | 5x Giro d’Italia | 1x Vuelta a España | 7x Super Prestige Pernod International | World Hour Record

Eddy as a young boy

Merckx 525 is the first biography ever authorized by Eddy Merckx, and without a doubt, the most comprehensive and detailed bio of “The Cannibal” that you’ll find in the English language. Featuring a treasure trove of newly restored photographs from private collections, the Merckx family, and European newspaper archives, Merckx 525 sheds new light on his career from his promising youth in Belgium all the way through to his days as a hardened veteran of the peloton.

Merckx 525 gives a year-by-year account of his race career, ticking off the wins and providing detailed accounts of both his victories and his struggles.

Author Frederik Backelandt (Editor in Chief of Grinta! magazine in Ghent, Belgium and contributor to ProcyclingFiets and Sportmagazine) brings a novelist’s tone his description of the races. While the text is authoritative and definitive, I would have liked to have heard a little more of Eddy’s own voice.

Merckx setting the hour record

Merckx’ career was long over by the time I started following cycling, but his legend is pervasive in the sport. He earned the nickname “Cannibal” because of his insatiable appetite for victory. Eddy’s ability to tear the legs off of his competition makes Lance Armstrong’s stare look like the last resort of an impotent schoolyard bully.

The book itself is very nicely done. The printing is crisp and the pictures offer a look into his life on and off the bike.

This spectacular coffee table book is now available in bookstores, bike shops, and online. You can preview Merckx 525 at


  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030899
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Price: $60
Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Comments are closed.