Merckx proved himself a great champion (again!) in '75, by riding the final week of the race with a broken cheekbone, caused in a neutral zone crash. He was obliged to subsist on a liquid diet after this freak accident and, against medical advice, continued to Paris, on a route with a further summit finish and a Mountain TT. By so doing, he added lustre to the victory of Thevenet- continuing to compete strongly and making light of his obvious and debilitating injury.
Merckx proved his generosity and professionalism in defeat. In the opinion of most, he is the greatest rider who ever raced.
I understand the thrust of your argument. For what it's worth, I believe Merckx had unmatched mental strength and proved this in '75- it's just that on a couple of occasions, probably most significantly, on the road to Pra-Loup, he didn't have the climbing legs of Van Impe and Thevenet.
By the way.....you posted a question and I tried to answer it. Now I've tried to consider your subsequent comments. Is that any reason to be embarking on the Francophobia, because I use the name Flaneur? Would Lemond be a better title? Or derailleur?