Eddy Merckx Very Own Tour de France Bike Molteni 1975

Out of stock
ID: 6249
Brand: De Rosa
Size: 59.5 cm
Condition: The bike is in good condition. The frame has no dents, no cracks and is not bent. Paintwork and decals are original. All parts are working fine.
Era: 1970s
Product ID: 6249

Here we present a bike that Eddy Merckx rode in the Tour de France 1975. This Team Molteni bike was built by Ugo De Rosa.

Basically we think that this is enough said.
But for everybody else, here are some additional words:

Some bikes are interwoven with the history of cycling sport and its champions in a way that is humbling to anyone who has the chance to take a glimpse of them. They are iconic artefacts, deeply loaded with stories and anecdotes. Each of which roots in the soil of unique performances which brings forth to legends. This is one of these bikes and it has many stories to tell. But we will only briefly touch three of them:
A story of a cyclist and his framebuilder. A story of pure willpower. And a story of a present fitly for a champion.

In 1973 the shooting star of the cycling scene, Eddy Merckx, approached the ingenious frame builder Ugo De Rosa and asked him to be his mechanic on the Molteni team and build their bikes.
Ugo, who knew Eddy and had already made some frames for him, said yes. The rest is history.
One of the outcomes of this collaboration was Eddy Merckx' super victorious year 1974, with the winning of the Giro, the Tour de France, the Tour de Suisse and the World Championships.
As a frame builder, Ugo de Rosa was absolutely the measure of all things at this time. In fact, in the Giro d'Italia of 1974, an estimated 80% of all riders in the peloton rode on bikes which were built by De Rosa. And he was the perfect counterpart of a technical detail-ridden Eddy Merckx who asked for small changes in frames and forks for every special task. For the difficult Giro of 74, Eddy called for no less than 6 frames, which Ugo should deliver within one week. De Rosa ended up sleeping in his workshop to complete this task.

The year 1975 started well for Eddy with the triumph in three monuments and it could have been another record breaking season if bad luck would not have been to strike him. But instead in the retrospective of events, it was a year which should herald the beginning of the end of his active carreer. And this mostly because Eddy demanded more from his body than was good for him.
It started when in Catalonia he lost his most important super-domestique due to a broken bone. Than he fell ill, thus was not able to train enough for the Tour de France. And when the Tour was on, he had to struggle with the aversion of the French spectators who favoured the French Thévenet over the Belgian machine who was about to take the record of the most won Tours from the Frenchman Anquetil.
In an important stage, Eddy was punched in the kidneys by a spectator and as a consequence lost important time. He began to take higher risks and crashed, then crashed again, breaking his jawbone. On top he was diagnosed with an inflamed liver.
However he continued racing, showing off his panache whenever there was a possibility.
He forced himself through inhuman efforts without a real chance of winning anything than the prize money for second place, so his team mates would not have to leave with empty pockets. His sheer will to overcome the obvious pain he was going through earned him respect even from the French cycling fans.
Merckx might have never shown his right to be called a sportsman and champion to a greater measure than he did in those days of cruel torture in France. In the end he was the honorable second in this race. But he payed with his physical constitution. Later he stated that he should have quit because the strain had cost him at least one or two more successful seasons.

Few people know that Merckx was also a football fan and even would have liked to be a football player when he was young. As a matter of fact, he played some time as an amateur. One of the most prosperous Belgian football clubs and Eddy's favourite one was Racing White Daring Molenbeek. Racing White were the Belgian champions of 1974 and 1975 and the team's captain was the danish 'General' Kresten Bjerre.
Both being champions in different disciplines, they were on good terms with each other. Bjerre was a guest in Merckx' house. Even for some kind of home story in a danish boulevard magazine.
When at the end of 1975, Bjerre made his 200st match for Sporting White, Merckx gave him one of his Tour de France bikes as a present in the stadium of Molenbeek. When a happy Kresten Bjerre received the generous gift, Merckx reportedly said:“It has a derailleur but for you right now it is set to 53x17“.
In the following years and also after his return to Denmark, Kresten took pride in the bike and , although not an overly ambitious cyclist, rode the Molteni bike from time to time.

Now the bike is in quest of a new owner. As much as we adore it, the bike does not really belong to a shop but should be possessed by a real admirer of an actual Merckx bike.
When we got the Molteni it had pretty much the original setup. The tires seemingly had been changed in the early 1980s. But this belongs to the bike's history. In general its authenticity is just awe inspiring.
As we said, there are bikes which are telling a story, and the traces on the frame are telling some of the chapters. Thus we spend some time to meticulously clean every part and remove dust and a little rust where it was necessary. But we ended up to rather preserve the bike and not restore it or polish the parts.
The crank bolts for example are still covered in the fat which Eddy Merckx had put on them. The cables are still the original ones. Not even the smallest screw has been changed by us. But the cleaning was painstakingly exact and thorough - despite for the bearings which we did not clean. They are still running pretty well!
From the 'diamante' chain stays to the small hearts on the bottom bracket lug and the modified Pista pedals, there is so much of De Rosa and Merckx spirit in this bike you can almost hear him panting up his way on one of the alpine passes of the Tour, followed by Ugo in the team car.

Could there been something better for a cycling fan than this bike? Hardly. But wait! there is even more!
With the bike comes a complete Team Molteni winter outfit, given to Bjerre by Merckx himself.
Hat, jersey, shorts - it is all there. Even an unworn pair of those extra fine Merckx cycling gloves.
Well, we have to admit this is nothing less than the jackpot for any cycling enthusiast, collector and Merckx fan.

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