Eddy Merckx undergoes heart surgery after collapsing last weekend

Belgian legend describes procedure as “minor surgery” and hopes to be home soon

by Simon_MacMichael   August 29, 2014  

Belgium House 1 Eddy Merckx leads in Brussels to London ride

It has been revealed that five times Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx has undergone what he describes as minor heart surgery in Brussels after suffering chest pains and reportedly collapsing last weekend.

The 69-year-old, who during a glittering career spanning the mid-1960s to mid-1970s won all three Grand Tours and five Monuments - many of them multiple times - plus the world championship three times, confirmed to sports broadcaster Sporza that he had undergone the procedure at the Jette university hospital in Brussels.

Merckx, who had a pacemaker fitted last year to correct an irregular heartbeat, described it as a “minor procedure” aimed at preventing the development of a combination of cardiac arrhythmias and blood clots.” He added that he hoped to return home soon.

Sporza says that ahead of his admission to hospital earlier this weekend, Merckx had ridden his bike for 70km on Saturday and 80km on Sunday, adding that last week he also took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Anthony Vanden Borre, who plays football for Anderlecht – the team Merckx supports – did the honours, as you can see in this video, and the cycling champion in turn nominated his son Axel and former world champion Philippe Gilbert to have a bucket of freezing water poured over their heads, too.

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I'm currently reading a biography of Eddy so here's wishing him a speedy recovery.

posted by Beatnik69 [247 posts]
29th August 2014 - 19:13


Everything in moderation, alcohol, food and even exercise. What pro cyclists do is completely batter their bodies for 20 years it probably takes a similar toll to spending you working life in the fields

posted by cub [83 posts]
29th August 2014 - 19:28


Get well soon Eddy

posted by pmr [193 posts]
1st September 2014 - 12:52