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Eddy Merckx: The Greatest Cyclist of the 20th Century Paperback – March 1, 2000

2.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Dutch
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: VeloPress (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884737722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884737725
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,442,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong: in cycling terms, Eddy Merckx is and will be the greatest rider who ever lived (Jeannie Longo another candidate, arguably). It is impossible to imagine anyone else being able to win 30% of the races he entered in a sport where just finishing is often a big deal, let alone owning the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys at the end of a single Tour de France. Eddy Merckx was a prodigious talent but, judging from this book, an astonishingly dull person. The author concentrates on Merckx the man rather than the racer and we find a lower-middle class Belgian with no schooling, no outside interests and a tendency towards complete silence. At the end of this poorly-structured and repetitive book, we feel nothing about the great dramas of the Cannibal's sporting life, his motivitations, his training methods. It seems he got on his bike, won the race and got off. Nothing heroic about any of this yet Merckx rode some of the most dramatic bike races ever.
The definitive Merckx book remains to be written. Save your money until then.
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Format: Paperback
This is not the greatest biography of any century. Its theme is stated in the introduction and then repeated on almost every page. You can extract some useful information and perspective - but it is not easy or fun.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants more information on Merckx than can easily be found on the Internet. However, I would recommend skimming or speed reading to find what you want and not bothering to read from cover to cover.
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Format: Paperback
Total agreement with the first 4 reviewers. Van Welleghem should not be writing, and if he has an editor, the editor should find another occupation. Eddy Mercxx was an idol of mine as a teenager, and still inspires my riding and racing today, several decades later. Unfortunately, this book is very poorly written--utterly repetitious, without inspiration or insight--it's making a fascinating subject a chore to explore.
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By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's a shame that Rik Van Walleghem's abilities as a writer fall so far short of Eddy Merckx's brilliance on a bicycle. This book is flabby, repetitive, poorly edited and, in the end, not very informative. The only other book I have read on bicycle racing is the equally dismal An Intimate Portrait of The Tour de France by Phillippe Brunel. In my experience, cyclists aren't stupid. They deserve better than this.
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Format: Hardcover
Eddy Merckx's life has been documented extensively in innumerable books. This book is a visual trip through his career, beliefs and life. I was struck reading this book at the enormity of the man and the sheer willpower it took to accomplish day after day the things he did. It shows the attitudes Merckx held that made him so good, and fairly documents the trials of staying on top for so long. I own this book, and will recommend it to anyone who wants to find the elements of success embodied in one man's life.
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