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  1. #1
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    TdF 1975 Merckx attacked

    Does anyone know what happened to the individual that attacked Merckx, injuring him, and probably preventing his sixth yellow jersey? Yah, a weird question, I know. I tried searching and could not find a thread as to what happened in this incident. thanks

  2. #2
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Good question... Sort of like the Cub's Bartman.
    Dennis T

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    cycle-dog spot DinoShepherd's Avatar
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    LeMond's book (which is a great read) says that he was tried and cleared by a french court. The spectator claimed he was waving and accidentally hit the Belgium.

    -Z

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    Out of breath again. suntreader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DinoShepherd
    LeMond's book (which is a great read) says that he was tried and cleared by a french court. The spectator claimed he was waving and accidentally hit the Belgium.
    Kinda like the German who stabbed Monica Seles during a match and put her out of pro tennis for two years. He got probation only!!! I guess it pays to be local, huh?

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    And that poor woman never quite recovered from it either. He should have gotten prison time for that.

    Koffee

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    Hmmm, I kind of wondered if the French pinned a medal on him. Guess so! Just waving and damaged his kidney and broke a bone.....which finger was he waving? Thanks...I'll look for Lemond's book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fsor
    Does anyone know what happened to the individual that attacked Merckx, injuring him, and probably preventing his sixth yellow jersey? Yah, a weird question, I know. I tried searching and could not find a thread as to what happened in this incident. thanks

    What is your source for asserting that Merckx was injured to such a causative extent? I have never heard it seriously suggested that the assault on the Puy De Dome was a decisive factor in Thevenet winning the 1975 Tour.

    17 months after the event, Merckx's 55 year-old assailant appeared in a Clermont-Ferrand court, was fined for the incident- and Merckx received the token one franc damages, for which he had asked.

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    Torrellis history, "Significant Other" and a few other sources. It was certainly the beginning of a very bad series of events. TdF is a mental game as well as physical and I would imagine that being punched by a spectator while confronting some of the world's greatest climbers could start a decline.
    Stage 14 finished on Puy de Dome. Merckx was chasing van Impe and Thevenet up the final climb when a spectator standing in the crowd jumped out and punched the lone Merckx in the stomach. Van Impe won the stage, Thevenet was only 15 seconds behind him. Astonishingly, Merckx was able to finish only 49 seconds behind van Impe and keep his Yellow Jersey. After crossing the line, in agony from the assault, Merckx vomited, then rode down the hill and identified his assailant who said it as an accident. Merckx still had a 58 second lead on Thevenet.

    Merckx lost by 2'47s overall.
    But "Flaneur", it couldn't have had anything to do with the Frenchman who was merely waving. nahhh thank you for the rightthink

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    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?

  10. #10
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntreader
    Kinda like the German who stabbed Monica Seles during a match and put her out of pro tennis for two years. He got probation only!!! I guess it pays to be local, huh?
    From what I have seen European criminal punishments are not generally so punitive as in the US so if you look at individual cases it would seem that the offenders are getting away with it. It is not really a case of being a local.
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

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