Conquista - The Cycling Quarterly Issue 2 - Page 106

Eddy’s Bad Habit A Miscellany of Le Tour de France 1970 1970 Despite his phenomenal stamina Eddy Merckx was also a heavy smoker and once advertised cigarettes. His Tour was nearly over before it began. His doctor found abnormalities in his heart rhythm and he crashed at an indoor track during a powercut, leaving him with pelvic and back problems. “Before the accident climbing was a pleasure, now it’s a torment”, he said. Not that you would have guessed. 1970 saw him annihilate his rivals once again with a twelve-minute lead. Duel in the Storm A Miscellany of Le Tour de France 1971 1971 Eddy Merckx was pretty cool about clinching his third Tour victory. That was, until Luis Ocaña began his assault on the crown. He launched brutal attacks on Merckx who was clearly struggling. By Stage 14 Ocaña was enjoying a nine-minute lead but disaster struck. A storm erupted and hail fell, visibility was zero and brakes no longer worked. Both Merckx and Ocaña crashed but while Merckx got back on his bike, Ocaña had punctured a lung. Out of respect for Ocaña he refused to wear the yellow jersey the following day. 106