Anatomy of a Photo: Elvis of the bike

How is it that the greatest cyclist would be so handsome? When the stars lined up with Mr Merckx, they all lined up. Cycling does seem to produce a lot of handsome athletes but really Eddy, didn’t you already have it all? He was already the most driven, most meticulous, the hardest and the fastest. Shouldn’t he have at least looked more like Buddy Holly than Elvis Presley?

One has to admire a person who was given a gift and then did every possible thing to maximize that gift. He left no stone unturned, including Looking Fantastic, even when inspecting the newspaper.

Related Posts

43 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: Elvis of the bike”

  1. I wonder if I stopped using Eddie and started using Eddy, if I would get handsomer – on AND off the bike.

  2. Eddy’s first appearance in “The Hell of the North” is very much “Elvis has entered the building”. Powdered blue leisure suit, if memory serves. Awesome.

  3. @EBruner

    Great photo! Eddy with always be the coolest. Followed a close second by RDV.

    That’s got to be one of my favorite shots of all time. I really hope someone kept that leather trench, presumably made of the human bodies Eddy and RdV left in the gutters of Paris-Roubaix.

  4. I don’t think Eddy Merckx is the Elvis of cycling. Elvis didn’t write his own songs. Merckx did. I like to see him as the Beatles of cycling. That does him more justice.

  5. @litvi

    @Ed Broyles

    I wonder if I stopped using Eddie and started using Eddy, if I would get handsomer – on AND off the bike.

    No.

    But worth a try.  Let us have some feedback in due course . . .

  6. Seems that they are more popular abroad than in Belgium. Specialy RdV, known for his somewhat ‘strange’ (ehum) quotes…

  7. @Gerrit Wijnne

    I don’t think Eddy Merckx is the Elvis of cycling. Elvis didn’t write his own songs. Merckx did. I like to see him as the Beatles of cycling. That does him more justice.

    But Elvis wore leather jackets and looked badass and the Beatles looked like pussies. Am I allowed to say that? Maybe Eddy was the Johnny Cash of cycling, naw, James Brown? I must think about this.

  8. @Tremolat

    Eddy’s first appearance in “The Hell of the North” is very much “Elvis has entered the building”. Powdered blue leisure suit, if memory serves. Awesome.

    Exactly, Elvis must have owned a few powder blue leisure suits. Eddy had a Benz and Elvis a Caddy. But yes, he did had a look of the alpha male there. RdV still looks like a bit of a goof ball in the leather trench coat. I think he is hoping he looks as badass as Coppi did in a leather trench, not quite.

  9. @Gianni

    @Gerrit Wijnne

    I don’t think Eddy Merckx is the Elvis of cycling. Elvis didn’t write his own songs. Merckx did. I like to see him as the Beatles of cycling. That does him more justice.

    But Elvis wore leather jackets and looked badass and the Beatles looked like pussies. Am I allowed to say that? Maybe Eddy was the Johnny Cash of cycling, naw, James Brown? I must think about this.

    Don’t let Gerrit confuse you; you just said he LOOKED like the Elvis of Cycling. You weren’t making career comparisons.

    And I think anyone would have a tough time of making the case Merckx and Roger didn’t style themselves after Elvis.

  10. @frank

    @EBruner

    Great photo! Eddy with always be the coolest. Followed a close second by RDV.

    That’s got to be one of my favorite shots of all time. I really hope someone kept that leather trench, presumably made of the human bodies Eddy and RdV left in the gutters of Paris-Roubaix.

    This picture should be so wrong, but it’s not. Sure Coppi did it better, but I have to admit RdV is a close second.

  11. @EBruner

    @wiscot

    I agree! That is what is so awesome about it. EVERYTHING should be wrong with that photo, but he pulls it off and makes you wish you were him.

    I have a fear that were I to have had all the gifts of Merckx, I would have been an asshole. Certain others have certainly proven this to be true (names redacted).

  12. If Eddy is the Elvis of the cycling world surely Pantani is Jim Morrison , Cancellara is Bruce springsteen and Andy Schleck is Donny Osmond ? I see myself as a drummer …..maybe John Henry Bonham ? Others see me as Karen Carpenter .

  13. @frank

    @EBruner

    Great photo! Eddy with always be the coolest. Followed a close second by RDV.

    That’s got to be one of my favorite shots of all time. I really hope someone kept that leather trench, presumably made of the human bodies Eddy and RdV left in the gutters of Paris-Roubaix.

    Yes, and take note that the left side chest button is actually an eye, as it was taken out one one of the slain domestiques on that day as they lay helpless min the Arenberg

  14. @Erik

    Presenting, Jan Janssen. Style.

    Is he related to Marcel Kittel? I think a DNA test might be in order here.Hair like that doesn’t happen to just anyone . . . just sayin’

  15. Under the 128 dossard I see a frame pump. Did guys used to race with their own pumps?

    Also…I have been voted by my lot of mates as having the best hair; most of them are balding, I’m goin’ strong!

  16. @Ron

    Under the 128 dossard I see a frame pump. Did guys used to race with their own pumps?

    Also…I have been voted by my lot of mates as having the best hair; most of them are balding, I’m goin’ strong!

    If you go back far enough they had to be entirely self sufficient even down to mending frames/forks at the local blacksmith themselves mid race.

  17. @Ron

    Under the 128 dossard I see a frame pump. Did guys used to race with their own pumps?

    Also…I have been voted by my lot of mates as having the best hair; most of them are balding, I’m goin’ strong!

    I have a pic at home from the Giro in 73 or 74 of one of Merckx’s teammates at the side of the road. He has a frame pump and spare tub with him. I also have a pic of a Bianchi rider with pump and spare, maybe same race. I guess once you’d done your bit and the team cars were up the road, you were on your own if you were a domestique.

  18. @frank

    Elvis.

    So were the rags used to clean Merkx’s bikes considered holy relics? I mean, Elvis used to hand out hankies to the crowd anointed with his sweat and you can be damn sure those things were venerated, so why not a Merckx bike rag?

  19. @chuckp

    It’s hard to be more suave than Monsieur Jacques.

    Amen on that. I’m always appalled at what some (not all) pros wear to official functions like Grand Tour launches. Ok, I understand the concept of fashion, but you can be damn sure that Maitre Jacques never sullied any formal event in jeans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar