Friday File: Merckx's 1972 Winning Colnago, 1949 Tour & It's Getting Cold

Merckx's 1972 winning Colnago,
I believe many of the parts were titanium.
All photos Yuzuru Sunada

Before he was christened 'The Cannibal', first year pro (1965) Eddy Merckx was asked,

Q:  "What are your principal ambitions as a racing cyclist?"

 A: "To win the Tour de France and set a new Hour record".

He was fanatical on his preparation. He designed his hour record and road frames. With the help from his friend Ernesto Colnago the famous orange frames were born. In 1972, he mightily won 50 races and felt it was time to challenge the hour record in Mexico City. He spent $20,000 of his own money to ready himself. On October 26, 1972 he made history...

"Throughout this hour, the longest of my career, I never knew a moment of weakness, but the effort needed was never easy. It's not possible to compare the Hour with a time trial on the road. Here it's not possible to ease up, to change gears or the rhythm. The Hour record demands a total effort, permanent and intense, one that's not possible to compare to any other. I will never try it again. There are those who told me that if I came here to Mexico I wouldn't feel the pedals. I assure you, I could feel the pedals! Nevertheless, I don't regret this choice. I don't think I could ever improve on this record. Yet I am convinced that one day my record will be beaten. That is the law of the sport. But to beat it it will be necessary to push a bigger gear. My 52X14 was plenty big for me. For five or six kilometers it didn't pose a problem, but for a whole hour it was very much otherwise."

- Eddy Merckx

Importance of team support...
a mechanic lubricates the chain of Gino Sciardis,
1949 Tour de France.


Tonite the temperature is dipping close to 0C...

... it can't be as bad as the 2013 Milan San Remo!

Have a good riding weekend!


May Bravo said…

I am interested in some pictures featured on your blog. Do you have a contact email?

Kind regards,