Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɛrks]) (born 17 June 1945 in Meensel-Kiezegem), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a former Belgian professional road bicycle racer considered to be the greatest pro-cyclist ever. The French magazine Vélo described Merckx as "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known," while VeloNews of the United States declared him to be the greatest and most successful cyclist of all time.
Merckx, who turned professional in 1965, won the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia five times each, and the Vuelta a España once. He also won all of professional cycling's classic "monument" races at least twice each (with 19 Classics victories in all). Merckx was World Champion once as an amateur and three times as a professional, and he even broke the world hour record before retiring in 1978. Since then, Merckx has remained active in professional cycling through various commercial and sporting projects, including team sponsorships and designing, manufacturing and selling his own line of bicycles.