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Cycling

Eddy Merckx, regarded by many as greatest cyclist ever, hospitalized after bike crash

A Belgian newspaper reported Monday that cycling great Eddy Merckx sustained head injuries in a crash while riding with friends.

74-year-old Belgian sustained head injuries while riding with friends

Former Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, regarded by many as the greatest cyclist ever, was hospitalized with head injuries sustained while riding with friends on Monday. (Kurt Desplenter/AFP/Getty Images)

A Belgian newspaper reported Monday that cycling great Eddy Merckx sustained head injuries in a crash while riding with friends.

The Het Nieuwsblad newspaper said the 74-year-old Merckx crashed Sunday and was admitted to a hospital in Dendermonde.

Merckx is regarded by many as the greatest cyclist ever. He won five Tour de France titles and a record 34 stages.

The 2019 Tour de France began in Brussels in July and feted Merckx to mark the 50th anniversary of his first Tour victory.

Known as "The Cannibal" for his appetite for winning, Merckx also won five Giro d'Italia titles, one Spanish Vuelta and a string of one-day classic races.

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