Five time Tour winner Eddy Merckx said that he understood Armstrong's decision to retire. "To stop or go on: that is a decision that you have to take yourself," said Merckx to Het Nieuwsblad. "I can't judge it. I can, however, assume that mentally it will become harder for Lance to live with everything that has happened on the fringe of the sport. Physically, I don't see a problem. Someone who is so strong after coming back from cancer, that is no normal guy but a great champion. Look at all that he has experienced! Of course He could have aimed for the classics next year. Ultimately, that's also a big part of cycling eh! I understand very well that the pressure from the media and the public is heavy. Besides, it's generally the case that a top rider first breaks down mentally rather than physically. Thus, all understanding, all respect."