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An interview with Eddy Merckx

Eddy on all things cycling

While at the 2005 Interbike, Cyclingnews' North American Editor, Mark Zalewski, found the legendary Eddy Merckx signing autographs for a long line of fans at his booth. The Cannibal took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to sit down a catch up on what he has been up to and what he thinks about the current cycling world.

Cyclingnews: First off, what did you think of that world championships? Finally another win for Belgium!

EM: It was a very good ride! This year, winning Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix - for one day races, the best one is Boonen. It's a very good thing for Belgian cycling, absolutely. And he's still a young rider. It was good to see him growing.

CN: Being as young as he is, do you think that one day he might be able to transform into a GC rider for the grand tours?

EM: No... I think he can win every one day race - maybe not a Lombardy for a few years still, but Milan-San Remo, Amstel Gold Race or any one that has a difficult finish. I think he is a strong and complete rider. He is more than just a sprinter.

CN: What are your thoughts on the latest in the EPO allegations, particularly involving Lance Armstrong?

EM: I cannot understand it. How can you attack somebody that cannot defend himself? It's not normal too... the testing [procedure.] If you have something, you go to the UCI or WADA - but not after five or six years. That is not correct. It's a bad thing for cycling. It's not true and not just - attacking someone who cannot defend.

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