A portrait of Eddy Merckx wearing one of the original cycling tops that he wore when he raced for Team Molteni in the 1970s. Considered by many to be the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France five times (in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974). He might also have won in 1975 if he hadn't been punched by a spectator on the Puy de Dome and broken a cheekbone in a crash. Even so, Merckx still managed to come second. A true ^Flandrien^, he was also a winner of many of the one-day classics including two Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and three Paris-Roubaix races. He continues to hold the record for most career victories by a professional cyclist with 525 victories out of 1582 starts, an incredible 33% win rate. Merckx was nicknamed ^the cannibal^ because he refused to ride tactically, preferring to go flat out at all times. He won races by riding away from the opposition, breaking away unexpectedly early and winning races alone.