It takes two to tangle: Eddy Merckx vs Roger De Vlaeminck (III/VI)

April 3 rd 2023 - 12:23

Eddy Merckx vs Roger De Vlaeminck (III/VI)

The legends of sport are forged in the fire of long-running rivalries between two champions. Paris–Roubaix, a prime target for the cobble-gobblers, often sets the stage for no-holds-barred contests between acrobats on wheels. A mechanical at the wrong time, poor positioning or a moment of hesitation when the decisive move comes can seal the outcome of the race. The site looks back on the history of these epic duels ahead of the latest showdown between the best of enemies, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, in their hunt for a maiden win in the Queen of Classics.

Back in the 1970s, Eddy Merckx was winning races left, right and centre, leaving the competition to fight for scraps in both the Grand Tours and the classics. Yet, on this exceptional terrain, he came up against one of the toughest nuts to crack: Roger De Vlaeminck, the most successful rider in the history of the event, with four victories and a total of nine podium finishes. Their duel on the cobblestones of Roubaix holds a special place in the history of cycling.


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