Eddy Merckx – Tour de France Champion 5-Times – “Race Face”

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Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal

Many consider to be greatest cyclist of all time.

“At the beginning, it’s definitely the total physical development that is important. Later on you Develop more Mental Concentration, Mental Preparation to Maintain the physical capacity. Next you develop the Spiritual.” – Eddy Merckx, legendary Belgian cyclist.

“The race is Won by the rider Who Can Suffer the Most.”

“When you are number one, the Pressure is on you. It’s not only physical but Mental. You become tired.”

Why was Eddy Merckx so Unstoppable?

What was his Secret?

Physical strength is non-negotiable, but don’t underestimate the Power of the Mind.

Here’s what we can learn from how Eddy Merckx used his.

Withholding non-verbal expressions; or a ‘Poker Face’ – is said to be a Great Advantage in Competition.

In cycling, it’s called ‘Race Face’ and of this, Merckx was a Master.

While Winning over 500 Races would earn Eddy’s wide Smile; in the saddle, he was Impossible to Read and his ‘Undefinable’ gaze became his Trademark.

When Merckx raced, he Fixed his Eyes on the Goal Ahead with unwavering dedication – he was a Master of getting Into The Zone.

Merckx combined this masterful ‘Eyes On The Prize’ talent with the art of Tactical Psychology to triumph over Stronger opponents.

Once he recognized that José Manuel Fuente, known for his mountain mastery, could beat him on the climb … Eddy made José nervous in order to Encourage Errors. The result? Merckx was Never Beaten by Fuente!

Once you’ve practiced your Poker Face, know that it’s not enough to look like you mean business – you have to Convince Yourself.

Even athletes at the top of their game report they struggle with Negative Self-Talk, that little voice telling you that you Can’t do it – while a few develop a way through this Barrier.

Visualization practice and Power Phrases (our method), for example, have helped athletes on their way to World Class.

For Merckx, Mental Toughness was Paramount. Again, he is quoted as saying: “The race is Won by the rider Who Can Suffer the Most.”

Merckx bluntly instructs: “When it is Hurting, that is when you can Make a Difference.”

“There are too many factors that you have No Control Over … the Most Important Factor you can keep in your own hands is Yourself. I always Placed the Greatest Emphasis on what is in my Own Hands.” – Eddy Merckx (Winner of Tour de France 5-Times)


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