Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer. Eddy Merckx is the undisputed greatest cyclist of all time. He was born in Meensel-Kiezegem, Brabant, Belgium. He grew up in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre where his parents ran a grocery store. He played several sports, but found his true passion in cycling. Merckx got his first bicycle at the age of three or four and competed in his first race in 1961. His first victory came at Petit-Enghien in October 1961.
After winning eighty races as an amateur racer, he turned professional on 29 April 1965 when he signed with Solo-Superia. His first major victory came in the Milan-San Remo a year later, after switching to Peugeot-BP-Michelin. After the 1967 season, Merckx moved to Faema, and won the Giro d'Italia, his first of eleven Grand Tour victories - a record that still stands today. Four times between 1970 and 1974, Merckx completed a Grand Tour double. His final double also coincided with winning the men's road race at the UCI Road World Championships to make him the first rider to accomplish cycling's Triple Crown. Merckx broke the hour record in October 1972, extending the record by almost 800 meters.