Merckx devastated by critical illness of mother

By Carlton Reid,

Smoking a cigarette to calm his nerves, Eddy Merckx opened up emotionally to a small group of English journalists after an evening meal in a rustic restaurant high in the hills above Rimini, Italy. The meal was organised by the committee of the Riccione Bike Hotel group who sat with Merckx on one table. At the other table were four journalists and the PR manager for British Cycling. Starting this year, Eddy Merckx bikes are the official loan bikes of the 14 hotels that market themselves to roadies around the world.

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