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An ace is born


20 March 1966

Early in 1966, Eddy Merckx still hadn’t turned 21, and he had been professional for less than a year. He was definitely not among the favourites. The front-runners on the starting line in Milan were rather Motta and Gimondi, Adorni and Van Looy.

That day, the young Eddy raced fiercely and combatively. He clipped off with a few other riders in the closing section, and by the time they reached the top of the Poggio, the favourites were no longer in sight.

The race finished in a sprint, with Merckx beating the Italian champion Durante and his fellow countryman Van Springel, hence becoming the youngest winner of the Classicissima.

In the following years, he sealed seven victories overall in eleven participations. His outstanding achievement is still unbeaten and, perhaps, unbeatable.

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