Talk:Eddy Merckx

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Calculation Error?[edit]

Why is it that under the trivia section, it says that Merckxx had a victory rate of greater than 1/3 (33%) when 1/3 of 1582 is 527 1/3 while Merckx won a total of 525 races.

Flemish or Walloon[edit]

Is he Flemish or Walloon? What's his mother tongue?

He certainly considers himself Belgian instead of outspokenly Flemish or Walloon. I'd say he is equally fluent in both, but not really fluent in either. He's not a man of words, and only thanks to 45 years of interviews, he has achieved some form of oratory talent. JH-man 19:50, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Merckx was born in Meensel-Kiezegem and spent part of his childhood in Kraainem. As both communities are considered to be part of the Flemish speaking part of the country (by law, although the suburban area of Brussels on the Flemish part of the 'language border' accomodates french speakers in their own language) Merckx is Flemish. Merckx' alleged preference for french has never been proved, but a possible explanation can be found in the fact that his parents where traders in Brussels and as such would have been more exposed to French.
Without doubt, Merckx is a symbol of Belgium, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth after his marriage to Claudine : the ceremony was performed in both languages but the actual vows were said in French.
Another explanation for Merckx' awkwardness and lack of oratory skills in early life may be found in the wartime events at Meensel-Kiezegem where Gaston Merckx, a known collaborator had been shot by members of the resistance. All male inhabitants were arrested and 76 of them died in concentration camps. The Merckx clan then left for the suburbs of Brussels. The stress this caused to the family is cited as a contributing factor to the ferocious style of the early years of competition. Portici 19:59, 18 October 2006 (UTC)Portici

The question has not been fully answered. What language did he speak with his parents? Were they French or Dutch speaking? Did he go to French or Dutch school? The article doesn't inform us at all. And with his children he speaks French, doesn't he? 195.218.15.86 01:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Greatest Ever[edit]

Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist ever. Even Lance Armstrong states this himself.

More Greatest Ever[edit]

"is considered by many to be the greatest cyclist of the 20th Century" really is quite an understatement.

Out of curosity, how much beyond Lance Armstrong are his results? 66.68.106.103 05:28, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Armstrong dominates the tour. Merxkx dominated everything.

20th vs 21st century[edit]

The above comments clearly confuse 20th & 21st century ;-)

Note: This century just began, "greatest cyclist of the 20th Century" is more valuable than

     6-7 times Tour de France winner in the early years of the 21st century.

Greatest Ever[edit]

Bestowing the title of greatest ever is not a function of wikipedia. Merckx has repeatedly stated that comparisons between him and Lance are a waste of time, the times and the races were different then. If Merckx get's an award for greatest cycler of all time then that data belongs in wikipedia. Otherwise present the actual data, and let people come to that conclusion themselves.

--63.229.127.222 16:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Explain to me exactly why it is that you can't compare because the 'times and races were different then'. L'Equipe in an effort to even out possible differences between contemporary racing and racing in Merckx' time concluded that only Bernard Hinault came close to Merckx' performance. As for the Tour de France, Merckx was advised by the organizing body not to participate in 1973, this when the cyclist was at the peak of his powers. After all, I never hear people say that you cannot possibly compare contemporary fighting and boxing during Mohammed Ali's career. Or is he declared 'the greatest' simply because he says he is?

Portici 22:15, 20 October 2006 (UTC) Portici

The only arguments that stand against Merckx being greatest ever are arguments that you can not pick a greatest ever. But in this case the gap is so huge that I think you can. Most Grand Tour wins. Most 5 monument wins (19 vrs. 11 for next closest). Fold in Worlds with 5 monuments and you get 22 vrs 11. Total the Grand Tours, 5 monuments and worlds wins and only Coppi and Hinault even reach the mark of having half of what Eddy does. I don't see how anyone can dispute that the top 2 tours are the Tour and Giro and that the top 2 single day races are the Worlds and Paris Roubaix. As of 1975 Merckx was tied for most wins in ALL 4 of these. Today he is tied for most wins for 2 and second most wins for the other 2. Only 3 other riders have even won all 4 races once.

```` Keith99


More about the gratest ever: Most days in yellow jersey (96), most monument wins, most tour de France stage victories, only rider who ever who could combine polka dot jersey, yellow jersey and green jersey in Tour De France (I think two times), most Milan-sanremo wins (seven!), ... . One of the only riders who won the three ground tours (tour de France, Giro, Vuelta), most grand tour wins (11!), ... I could still continue a little bit like that but let also not forget the way he won. He won with enourmous time gaps (various >100km attacks). He has been awarded the combatinveness award two times in de TDF (normal TDF winners just get some lead and then defend it), all year round (not specializing in one race, and doing some other races to prepare). He won track races, road races and also one cyclocross. He also had the world time record. It botters me a little bit that in all these comparisions everybody focusses too much on the TDF. If you would make the article bigger reocrds in cycling with more categories (most times won Ronde Van Vlaanderen, most times won Paris Roubaix, most races won, most days in this and this jersey, ... He would end in top three with in most of the categories. Merckx just won everything. Merckx only compares with Mohamed Ali, Pele, ... . I am really sure he was the gratest ever, please just check all the other articles about the cycling races, not just TDF 84.195.182.246 (talk) 16:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Talk page[edit]

Just a note that this talk page is to discuss the article as an encyclopedic entry, not for discussing Eddy Merckx as a person/athlete. Julius.kusuma 15:08, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Need cleanup[edit]

The introduction part of the article is becoming bloated as contributors add information to it without seeing how it can be integrated to later parts of the article. Would be great if somebody can collate all the information and re-sectionalize the article. Thanks. Julius.kusuma 12:15, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

reverted back to my version of dec 19th[edit]

Surely mistakes need to be corrected in Wikipedia, and duplicate sections should be removed? I don't want this to become an edit war at all, but when changes are reverted, an explanation would be nice? Looking forward to it...

81.188.79.116 19:25, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


Cleanup attempt[edit]

Well, I had a go at a cleanup operation for this article about my fellow countryman. Most information is still there, just rearranged and duplicates removed. Added some more significant info. I didn't systematically check stats or results though, just mostly kept the whole bunch. I hope it looks better now... 81.188.79.35 23:40, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the awesome cleanup work and the addition of the information! I am toning down the wording a little bit, but otherwise it looks great! Thanks again, and hup Belge! Or hup kasseinfretters, depending on where you live! Julius.kusuma 01:47, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Removed Armstrong-reference in first paragraph[edit]

is considered by many to be the greatest cyclist of all-time (except for Lance Armstrong),

This really was an unnecessary addition, and Lance is mentioned later in the article. The original sentence could be read as "some consider Merckx the greatest of all time, some consider somebody else the greatest of all time". Adding Armstrong here doesn't change that.

I will probably add a small (balanced) paragraph about "greatest of all time or not" one of these days212.153.56.254 09:50, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

How is his last name correctly pronounced?

           Like in "sex" => "mex" => "merx"
           I wish I knew phonetics...--JH-man 20:05, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Magazine cover photo[edit]

The text of the copyright tag includes the following words:

Note: It is not acceptable to use images with this tag in the article of the person or persons depicted on the cover, unless used directly in connection with the publication of this image.

In other words, using a mag showing Merckx to illustrate this article isn't justifiable unless the publication of said mag is the point being discussed, not its subject. 86.132.138.151 03:04, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Fact check[edit]

According to this interview with Merckx:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/riders/2005/interviews/?id=eddy_merckx05

Merckx "only" had 445 professional wins. I think the total of 525x professional wins isn't accurate. If you disagree please provide sources.

CN: You had an incredible career, with 445 wins.

EM: As a professional, yes. I had about 100 victories as an amateur. Also, on the track, 17 six days and various championships.

--Meekrob 00:14, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Some Changes back[edit]

well, you (Meekrob) deleted quite some stuff I added, but I can live with most of it. However, a couple of things:

-I reintroduced the 'namesake' remark; this Eddy Merckx really isn't the 3 cussion champion. His namesake is billiards champion. This was completely lost after you removed the sentence. I reworded it a bit.
-Sorry! --Meekrob 18:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
- I reintroduced the white jersey part. You say it is not provable, but it is: the only reason why he didn't win the (current definition of) white jersey was that it didn't exist yet. If someone wins the Tour, AND he is under 25, he automatically wins the white jersey. You also can't use the argument that others might have tried harder to win the white jersey, and beaten Merckx, if it had existed, because obviously they had to win the yellow jersey in order to win the white one.
-I still think this is a bad idea, although not as bad as speculating that Ali might would have beat Tyson. It's not good to put "would have's" in wikipedia. Still if nobody else has a problem with this then I don't either. --Meekrob 18:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
- what I didn't reintroduce yet, but argue to include in some form, is some of the objective arguments (the Daniel Manzarek listings) to place Merckx (with that much distance) on top of the list of best cyclists ever. I think this is relevant to get an idea what he achieved, also in relation to Lance Armstrong. Maybe not under a heading best cyclist of all times, but still it deserves some place?
- I don't really think you can compare these two, they are from different eras. It's fine to speculate on fansites and forums, but unless you can put them in the same competition then you don't really get a definitive answer. Both Armstrong and Merckx dominated during the times in which they competed, what does comparing them achieve? I think it's better to stick to recorded facts. Let Merckx's achievements and records speak for themselves. I do think there is a place in the article to discuss the differences between racing in Merckx's time and "modern" times, as long as it isn't a disguised attempt to prove that Merckx is better than Armstrong. --Meekrob 18:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
- Well, I originally wrote a more elaborate version of the 'best cyclist ever?' section which included these 'differences', but later editors removed those parts. Check out the January 25, 2006 history page. Maybe we could agree to get it back in (at least partially)?JH-man 18:56, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

hour record[edit]

This is unfortunately no longer correct:

Hour record: 49.432 km, set in 1972.

Chris Boardman and Ondrej Sosenka have since beaten this record...

If I am mistaken and this is just all the records he set at that time, then please delete this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.175.84.17 (talk) 23:35, 3 March 2007 (UTC).

I added the clarification that the section is for records that Merckx set during his career, and pointed out that the Hour record has subsequently been broken. Cheer, Doctormatt 23:51, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Merckx cover.jpg[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:Merckx cover.jpg[edit]

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Image:Merckx cover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:15, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Merckx cover.jpg[edit]

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Image:Merckx cover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 04:09, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

THE best or one of the best, being and being regarded[edit]

I restored the previous wording because there's nothing wrong with it IMO.

Merckx's stats are so overwhelmingly dominant (check out a ranking like http://www.kolarstwo-szosowe.gda.pl/Ranking_2005.html ) that it would not even be outright unreasonable to simply declare him the greatest of all time.

The only reason why that would not be a good idea after all, is that one would be comparing different eras with different opponents, different pressures, different scope of the sport etc. That's why the words "regarded as" are being used instead of the bolder "is".

fact: Merckx is one of the greatest and most successful cyclists of all time.

reputation: Merckx is regarded as the greatest and most successful cyclists of all time. JH-man (talk) 09:04, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Good article/A-class article[edit]

There is a lot of information on Eddy Merckx to be found. Eddy Merckx is a legend. If any page in the WikiProject Cycling can be made a featured article, it is the Eddy Merckx article. Currently, it's only B-class. Can we start try to get it to be a Good Article, or an A-class article? Currently the wikiproject has no A-class articles... --EdgeNavidad (talk) 07:27, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I stumbled upon a journal article that ranks Merckx second best cyclist in the TdF after Hinault, although by a very small margin.

Unfortunately, I currently don't have the inspiration to put it in the article...--EdgeNavidad (talk) 12:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I have some doubt about the seriousness of a method that reaches a result where a one time winner as Joop Zoetemelk is ranked before Miguel Indurain. --Lebob-BE (talk) 14:13, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
First of all, Zoetemelk is at the same rank as Indurain, both net dominating 483 cyclists. Secondly, the method justifies it by also compairing second places, of which Zoetemelk has six, compaired to Indurain zero.
Is that fair? I don't know. Indurain is a bigger legend, because when it comes to legend, the winner takes all. I know the TdF-winners of the last 10 years by heart, but I really would have to look up who finished second. But being legendary is not the same as being successful. The authors of this paper made a mathematical model that would give a list of most successful cyclists in the Tour de France, and asked sports journalists for criteria. Based on that information, the mathematical model ranked Indurain and Zoetemelk at the same place. To me, this is a fair and unbiased method, fairer than tweaking the model such that the final list is the list you expect (i.e. Merckx on top, Indurain before Zoetemelk). --EdgeNavidad (talk) 15:26, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Check Daniel Marszalek's list (on his wiki article, or here for example). His list gives Zoetemelk more points than Indurain, and on the special Stage Riders list, Indurain and Zoetemelk are ranked 5th and 6th - so they seem comparable in "successfulness".--EdgeNavidad (talk) 12:05, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
My conclusion is that you will never find a solution that can range the cycling champion in a full scientific way. The Belgian/Dutch approach for instance completely forgets some criterions like the number of attemps. do you know that Zoetemelk has run 16 TdF to win only one and get 6 second places? Compare this with Armstrong, Merckx, Hinault and some other and you will realise that the efficiency criterion is not taken into account at all. The ranking of Marzsalek is also quite amazing when it tanks Zoetmelk before Fausto Coppi. And with all due respect to Sean Kelly I have really problems in considering him as the third best all times rider. --Lebob-BE (talk) 16:52, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what we think. If it's in a reliable third party source (and especially if cited by others), it can be included. SeveroTC 20:33, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

For the discussion on the move request, please see Talk:Eddy Merckx (disambiguation).--Kotniski (talk) 06:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

1973 Tour[edit]

I've removed the entry for the 1973 Tour because Merckx didn't ride. I could write something about his racing that year but not under the TdeF heading. And since we haven't featured any other year, why 1973? A conundrum. Still, it's explained under 1972 that he didn't ride, and why. Les woodland (talk) 05:37, 19 December 2008 (UTC)les woodland

Doesn't the same objection hold for the 1976 Tour de France? --EdgeNavidad (talk) 15:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Nicknames[edit]

I've always thought of a nickname as a monnicker which someone might use to your face or to others on seeing you go by. I can imagine one rider pointing out Merckx and saying "The Cannibal's here, then." But I can't imagine anyone saying, "Did you sleep well, Einstein-on-Wheels?" References to riders as the Giant or Einstein aren't nicknames, surely, but references of praise. That was why I deleted all but "Cannibal" a while back. People know who The Cannibal was. It was a widespread alternative name and therefore pretty much a nickname. But "Einstein-on-Wheels"? No, I don't think so. Do you? Les woodland (talk) 07:40, 29 December 2008 (UTC)les woodland

No. An even greater crime for nicknames and catch-phrases - they are not catchy. Done. Gone. Autodidactyl (talk) 08:28, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Too many quotes[edit]

Am I the only one who thinks the latest big rework of this article introduced way too many quotes? I appreciate the effort that was put in, but Eddy was a bicycle racer, not a philosopher or great intellectual. All the "XXX said:" repetitions are bad for the overal style as well. The information not necessarilly needs to be removed, but some of the information in the quotes could be worked into the article differently. This would also improve the layout IMO. JH-man (talk) 10:48, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I also really appreciate the effort put into this article. But there are too many quotes on this page, it decreases the readability. The quotes are a good source for some information; I agree that this information should be worked into this article, with the source of the quote as reference. This could improve the article even more. --EdgeNavidad (talk) 15:26, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
There are only 43! (that's 1 better than than the answer to the universe)
 
— Autodidactyl, 2009.
I agree, the information is great and not otherwise accessible to the likes of me, but much of the info should be woven into the text, and many of the quotes demoted to notes or references. I will have a stab soon. Autodidactyl (talk) 15:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Pro Teams[edit]

I beleive he also rode for the Falcon Cycles team, but not sure what years - possibly 1976, 1977? Anyone have further info? I lived adjacent to the Elswick Hopper factory in Barton-Upon-Humber, and my wife worked there in the 1970s. I seem to remember they had a cycle range named after him too.--86.130.30.122 (talk) 23:05, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

External links support what's in the infobox. SeveroTC 09:19, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Francs to euros[edit]

The article reads "Merckx was earning 125,000 Belgian francs a year when he won the championship (approx €2,000 at 2008 values)." - I wonder if this is a correct conversion as the euro was introduced at 1/40.3399 against the franc, which would mean that BEF 125,000 were worth €3100 in 2001 already, and that's not even considering inflation since 1967. --Hooiwind (talk) 13:19, 25 May 2013 (UTC)