Eddy Merckx casts lengthy shadow over current crop of Belgian talent

07 July 2019 06:59
Fifty years after his first Tour de France win the Cannibal’s legacy sets a high benchmark for the likes of Wout van AertWhen Eddy Merckx took to the stage in the Grand Place in Brussels on Thursday, in front of a vast crowd chanting his name at the team presentation of the 2019 Tour de France, the echoes were obvious: 49 years and 11 months earlier the Cannibal and his wife, Claudine, had appeared on the balcony of the ornate town hall to greet another vast, cheering crowd after the first of his five overall wins in the Tour.This weekend’s Grand Départ in Brussels celebrated two events: one is the passing of 100 years since the invention of the Yellow Jersey, arguably the masterstroke that has contributed most to the Tour’s inexorable rise to become the world’s largest annual sports event. The other is that first victory by Merckx in the Tour in 1969. Related: Tour de France 2019: stage-by-stage guide Related: Caleb Ewan: ‘I will be pinching myself on the Tour de France start line’ | Kieran Pender Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian