He won the 1965 Tour de France as a 22-year-old neo-pro, won the Giro d'Italia three times in 1965, 1967 and then in 1976, defeating Eddy Merckx
at 34 and winning the penultimate stage in Bergamo, and also won the 1968 Vuelta a Espana.
"Felice was one of the greatest champions to win great tours, a world championship and important classics while contesting, he alone, Eddy Merckx
," FCI president Renato Di Rocco said.
To make it doubly sweet, it happened in Brussels, the home city of five-times Tour champion Eddy Merckx
who presented him with the maillot jaune on the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the unmistakable sporting garment.
The Tour is starting in Brussels to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first win by legendary Belgian rider Eddy Merckx
. In all Merckx
won the Tour five times.
34: Stage wins by Eddy Merckx
, the most in Tour history.
On the same day that man landed on the moon, Eddy Merckx
reached for the stars.
BRUSSELS -- Tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Brussels on Thursday as the Belgian capital turned yellow to celebrate cycling great Eddy Merckx
's maiden Tour de France victory half a century ago.
5 CROSSROADS FOR CAVENDISH: Imagine what a brilliant story it would be that, in the year when the Tour celebrates all-time great Eddy Merckx
, Cavendish could equal or better the Belgian's record of 34 stage wins.
Belgium took the lead in the first singles when former ATP Tour player Jonas Merckx
eased past Waleed Jallali 6-4, 6-0.
The 33-year-old has won 30 Tour de France stages, four behind the record held by Belgium's Eddy Merckx
Former world champion Cavendish has powered to 30 stage triumphs at Le Tour -- only the legendary Eddy Merckx
with 34 has won more -- but found himself without his Dimension Data team-mates as he attempted to add to his tally.
1 Chepstow; 2 Middlesbrough; 3 Six; 4 Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns; 5 Eddy Merckx