Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx will receive another French Legion of Honour distinction on December 15 at the Elysée Palace in Paris. According to Belgian news agency belga, French president Nicolas Sarkozy will award the badge of Commander to the 66-year-old, who already received the title of Knight in 1975, at the start of the Tour de France in Charleroi, Belgium.
The Order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into various degrees. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to honour "eminent merit" for the country of France. Foreigners are not excluded and can be decorated exceptionally.
The only other cyclist to have received Legion of Honour distinction is Jeannie Longo. She, too, was elevated to the rank of Commander in the beginning of the year.