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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2012
I would strongly recommend this book even for those only faintly interested in cycling. As a current recreational rider and former amateur racer this was both an informative and insightful read. I particularly enjoyed reading about his family and upbringing and the touchy relationship in Belgium between the Walloon's and Flemish. It was also informative to the read the politics in the early years around not him chasing Belgian teams but rather switching to Peugeot and then Faema and Molteni. However the book shines in descriptions of classic races and victories, particularly the clashes with Ocana and Fuente. Cycling is poorer for an era where there was much greater variability in performance and Merckx could lose 8 minutes in a stage when at his prime. In the current climate his two positive tests were a good read, a product of naivety rather than a systematic attempt to deceive it seems. The short description of family and an amazingly supportive wife will stick. Great book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
This is an excellent book. It is very hard in the US to find books on Eddy Merckx yet we're drowned in Lance Armstrong profiles. This is a travesty that this book cures. Everything that you've ever wanted to know just as advertised "half man" about his life, upbringing and the little bits along with "half bike" where we get vivid descriptions of his triumphs as well. All of this and with the benefit of interviews with participants decades afterward fill-in the full picture of what happened during the Merckx era that has never been actively covered in the states. This is such a vivid book that whenever I read portions relating to a race....I could literally feel it in my legs! Enjoy the era of Le Cannibal!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2013
Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist of all time. Not a lot of debate on that point and the author is trying to find out why. The book was very readable and it kept me interested throughout. There are some excellent sections describing individual races. I was hoping to get more a look into the psyche of this great champion, but didn't feel like the author really penetrated too far into that aspect. The book was a bit too reverential and skirted over controversy. It would have been nice to see some more along those lines as well as to get more commentary from rival riders of that period. At times it felt like the author got bogged down describing the triumphs and lost track of his aim of understanding what drove Merckx to greatness. If you are a fan of cycling I would recommend as it gives a great primer on about a decade of cycling history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
William Fotheringham provides an excellent insight into the enigma; Eddy Merckz. I was sad to get to the last page!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book. I had heard of Merckx like almost anyone that follows cycling even a little but I didn't know much more than him being praised as the greatest cyclist of all time. I wanted to know a bit more about him, his origins and his personality and his exploits during his racing career. This book covered all those elements well. I left with a good overview of his career and of his style as a cyclist. The writing was clear and concise. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Merckx and his racing career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
This was a birthday gift from my daughter who knows how much I love bicycling. I was skeptical when I started reading the book because I have read other biographies that were poorly written or I didn't care for the attitude of the cyclist (Lance Armstrong). If I were to find fault with this book it would be the lack of information about his wife. She needs a medal. I bought copies for my bicycling relatives.
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on June 8, 2014
The real old cyclists will appreciate more stories about the Legend. I know I did. Easy to read, and easy to believe.
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on May 19, 2014
This is the 1st book I read about EM, so in that instance it was an interesting read. However, it is poorly written (maybe it is the translations). It tends to jump all over the place; even in the same paragraph. And it never answers its premise of "Why he was so driven". It is your basic follow the career from start to finish, write about a few important races, and add some highlights and anecdotes from his career type of book. I had to laugh when I got to the end and the author states (paraphrasing):"This book intention was to delve into the reason why EM was so driven and I have proven..." And I am thinking you did not really touch on any of this. Its your basic formulaic sports hero novel, and you never even begun to answer your raison d'etre.

Anyway, a decent read if you have never read anything about EM, but don't expect any thing life shattering or a phenomenal piece of literature.
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on January 23, 2014
It opened my eyes to how great an athlete Eddy was. I absolutely admire the man now. I would suggest this book to any who dream.
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on December 18, 2013
Merckx was so committed to winning! He fought the odds in the beginning and became one of the greatest cyclists of the decade.
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