Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike

Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike

What makes a man the greatest of all time?

Eddy Merckx is to cycling what Muhammad Ali is to boxing or Pelé to football: quite simply, the best there has ever been.Throughout his professional career Merckx amassed an astonishing 445 victories. To put that in perspective, Bradley Wiggins has fewer than forty.

Merckx was a machine. It wasn't just the number of victories; it was his remorseless domination that created the legend. In 1969 while already comfortably leading the Tour de France, Merckx hammered a further eight-and-a-half minutes out of his nearest rivals during an 85-mile solo break in the Pyrenees. He didn't just beat his opponents, he crushed them.

But his triumphs only tell half a story that includes horrific injury, a doping controversy and tragedy.He was nicknamed 'The Cannibal' for his insatiable appetite for victory, but the moniker did scant justice to a man who was handsome, sensitive and surprisingly anxious.

For Britain's leading cycling writer, William Fotheringham, the burning question remains, why? What made Eddy Merckx so invincible? In Half Man, Half Bike, Fotheringham goes back to speak to those who were there at the time and those who knew Merckx best. The result is this extraordinary and definitive story of a man whose fear of failure would drive him to reach the highest pinnacles before ultimately destroying him.

Title:Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780224074483
Format Type:

    Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike Reviews

  • James

    Everybody with even a passing acquaintance of cycling as a sport has probably heard of Eddy Merckx. Anybody who has an interest in the sport will also know that Merckx was the greatest cyclist the spo...

  • Martin Mccann

    I finished Friebe's The Cannibal immediately prior to reading Fotheringham so naturally my instinct is to compare the 2- generally both books come to more or less the same conclusions regards Merckx, ...

  • Raja Ram

    A well researched book providing a detailed insight into this great cyclist. Merckx was before my time so this was a journey into the relatively unknown. What I learned was amazing. this guy truly dom...

  • Aaron

    Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike is a very thorough account of Eddy's Merck'x cycling career. While the book does an admirable job of retelling the history of his races and competitors, it does not tell us...

  • Nadia

    A fascinating book about THE biggest legend in cycling. About focus, about obsession, about victory after victory brought about but talent, yes, but more than anything by sweat and tears and sacrifice...

  • Josh

    i like cycling books but this was a little monotonous. similar to the guy's racing I guess. ...

  • Michael

    During the height of Lance Armstrong's successful run of Tour de France victories, I began to watch a some professional bicycle racing on TV and the Internet. I even watched a criterium in Arlington w...

  • David Campbell

    As English cyclist Tom Simpson's dope-ravaged body is flown off the slopes of Mont Ventoux at the 1967 Tour de France it becomes apparent to professional cycling that the pre- and inter-World War Gold...

  • Bill Catchings

    Half Man, Half Bike is another one of the books I read in my cycling biography phase. This one falls somewhere between Sex, Lies, and Handlebar Tape (about Jacques Anquetil) and Slaying the Badger (Gr...

  • Ed

    A thoroughly researched and well structured book that does an excellent job of detailing Merckx's astonishing career on a bike. It takes you in detail from his early days as a junior rider through to ...