Merckx, Eddy (Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx) (mûrks), 1945–, Belgian bicycle racer. He won the world amateur cycling championship in 1964 and became world professional champion in 1967. He won the Tour de France bicycle race five times (1969–72, 1974), the Giro d'Italia five times (1968, 1970, 1972–74), and the Vuelta a España once (1973). It has been estimated that Merckx rode up to 30,000 mi (48,300 km) a year in practice and competition together. He was created a baron in 1996 by Albert II of Belgium.