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Eddy Merckx released from hospital after crash

Eddy Merckx riding with friends
(Image credit: Shane Stokes)

Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx was released from hospital on Friday, several days after he was rushed into intensive care following a crash whilst out riding.

Merckx fell while riding with friends last Sunday and was immediately transferred to a hospital in Dendermonde, near Gent, with reports circulating that he had suffered a ‘serious head injury’.

Merckx left intensive care four days later but remained hospitalised for several days in order to undergo a series of medical tests. Sudpresse reported that Merckx suffered a hemorrhage and was kept in intensive care overnight. On Monday afternoon he was given the green light to leave and was transferred to a regular ward. 

On Friday, Sporza reported that Merckx had been given permission to leave the hospital with the 74-year-old now resting at home.

 "He is happy that he can go home," Claudine Merckx, his wife, told Het Nieuwsblad.

"Ultimately, it is still better at home than in a hospital, no matter how well he’s looked after."

Merckx was fitted with a pacemaker in 2013 after being diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, something he may well have had during his riding career. 

Merckx is widely regarded as the most successful cyclist of all time, winning the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia five times, as well as 19 Monuments in a career that ran from 1965 to 1977.