Eddy Merckx: "The Ardennes is pure happiness!

Eddy Merckx standbeeld Stavelot

Eddy Merckx: "The Ardennes is pure happiness!

Eddy Merckx and the Ardennes, it is a special relationship. The Belgian champion has forged some of his greatest successes there. 5 times winner of the "Doyenne", 3 times winner of the Flèche wallonne, Eddy Merckx knows the roads there by heart. Roads on which he has created part of his legend. The monument at the top of the very difficult côte du Stockeu pays tribute to him.

Who, apart from Eddy Merckx, could reconcile the two passions that Ardennes-étape has been supporting since 2020: cycling and the Ardennes?

My best memory in the Ardennes

« Unequivocally, it was my first victory at Liège-Bastogne Liège in 1969. Firstly, because it was my first Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory. But also, because it was a great moment in my career, a new classic on my prize list. I had already won a Flèche wallonne, Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo back then. »

My relationship with the Ardennes

« It's a region that inspires freedom and happiness. The good air. Unfortunately, I don't go back there enough. »

I have a crush on Stavelot

« I am very honoured to have a statue in the Ardennes, in Stavelot! But it is not really the statue that pleases me, it is above all an extraordinary place. The Ardennes are an inspiration for many people. It inspires me and brings back good memories. Like the city of Stavelot and the ‘cote de Stockeu’. » - Eddy Merckx