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Old 07-10-09, 04:51 AM   #1
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What happened to Merckx in 1973?

This is the gap year in his streak of TdF wins. The only thing I can find about it is that he didn't ride in the TdF that year...but he won both the Giro and Vuelta that year. What happened that prevented him from riding in 1973?
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Old 07-10-09, 04:56 AM   #2
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It simply wasn't on his schedule. Either he or sponsor put the priority on the Vuelta and Giro and decided not to defend the Tour title. All three tours in the same year is a major undertaking,
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Old 07-10-09, 05:43 AM   #3
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Read the Wikipedia article on him. The French hated him so much for dominating "their" race that there were lots of incidents in previous Tours where he was basically attacked by rabid fans. He gave it back to them for a year (which Ocaņa won anyway), and then came back for a final championship.
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Old 07-10-09, 07:52 PM   #4
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Despite the atttitude of the French, I believe it was always in Merckx's plan to not ride the Tour. By 1973 Merckx had already won all the major races, except for a handful. The most prestgious of those was the Vuelta. He wanted to ensure he had a Vuelta win, before it too late.
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Old 07-11-09, 12:20 AM   #5
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Hmmm...it's too bad he didn't stick it out and take all the tours in one year. That would've really been something.
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Old 07-11-09, 12:54 AM   #6
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They (the French) told him that, because they could not guarantee his safety, that he not ride in the 1973 TdF.

I believe they were more concerned he would rival Anquetiel's 5 TdF wins which Merckx matched in 1974 and came close to beating in 1975, and probably would have, had he not been assaulted and injured.

Despite being unable to eat solid food... he still finished 2nd in 1975.
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Old 07-11-09, 10:01 AM   #7
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Sixty Fiver, Just knowing that Eddie Merckx exists makes you HTFU.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:03 PM   #8
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Sixty Fiver, Just knowing that Eddie Merckx exists makes you HTFU.
What cycling god do you pray to ?

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