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An ancient feud - Merckx and Maertens - why?(5 posts)

An ancient feud - Merckx and Maertens - why?humbert
Jan 30, 2004 6:17 AM
The recent Cylce Sport includes an interview with Freddy Maertens in which he describes a 30 year feud Merckx has with Maertens based on the 1973 Worlds. According to Maertens, Merckx is still pissed abour Maertens' lead out that resulted in Gimondi first, Maertens second and Merckx fourth. I looke at this race as shown in the opening sequence of my old La course en Tete video and it looks like Gimondi simply blew by Merckx and Maertens and only Maertens could respond in the final sprint. What am I missing that justifies a lifelong hatred other than the possibility that Maertens gives - Merckx is a great cyclist but a small human being.
re: An ancient feud - Merckx and Maertens - why?BR1
Jan 30, 2004 8:16 AM
the race came down to 4 man break including gimondi ocana merckx and maertens.

rumor has it that maertens claimed he didn't have the legs to contribute to the break so he sat in and agreed to lead merckx (his belgian team mate) out in the sprint.

merckx pinned his hopes on this strategy. rather than attacking the break he kept it together figuring that 2 guys working together would be tough to beat.

inside the final K maertens sprinted for line himself without merckx on his wheel, but maertens didn't have the legs and merckx was poorly positioned leaving the door open for gimondi.

it's possible that gimondi would have won anyway but merckx feels he was betrayed by his team mate.

make of it what you will but if they had worked together as merckx claims was the arrangment they should have won
the problem was afterward..Qubeley
Jan 30, 2004 2:17 PM
Maertens accused Merckx of selling out the race to Gimondi, which added insult to injury.
I got this info from the video "Eddy Merckx Story", he said that himself in one of the interviews. He also said that Maertens told him to stop attacking, and will lead out in the end. Merckx agreed to the strategy because he wants to foster the young star.
re: An ancient feud - Merckx and Maertens - why?humbert
Jan 31, 2004 5:07 PM
Thanks for the info. Now to make matters worse, since its winter I'm watching alot of cycling videos lately and A Sunday in Hell refers several times to Maertens as the sworn enemy of Roger Devlaminck and vice versa, I guess I will try to find the book on Maertens, " A fall from grace"?, to get the details.
ask it to Maertens Himself..morency
Feb 2, 2004 5:41 AM
as he is the guide in the Cyclingmuseum in Roeselare (about 20km from Bruges), or is non one coming to Flanders in spring to enjoy the Classics?