Cover Eddy Merckx game

Racing like Eddy!

On 5 July 2019, the day before the Grand Départ in Brussels, a 'Championnat du Jeu Eddy Merckx' is organised. Truly a remarkable event in the list of tributes and initiatives that the Cannibal will receive in the run-up to the Tour. A group of cycling (game) enthusiasts, including table tennis legend Jean-Michel Saive, will decide among themselves who can crown himself champion of the Eddy Merckx cycling game. The fourth edition of this game is presented in 2019.

The Tour victory of Eddy Merckx in 1969 inspires the Walloon Pierre Neuville to create a cycling game around the Tour winner. After four months of work Neuville finalises his creation. Fourteen days after the birth of Sabrina, Merckx's first child (February 1970), the inventor was allowed to visit Eddy and received permission to use the name Eddy Merckx. After Merckx's second victory in the Tour de France, Pierre is once again invited to the home of the Tour winner. In the company of the press, both gentlemen present the game - the photo is used afterwards in the second version of the 'Jeu Eddy Merckx'. Neuville: "La vente bat tous les records d'un jeu de société." [transl. "Sales break all records for board games."]

To make the game even more popular, Neuville has a more compact version made in a run of 50,000 copies. The miniature racers are no longer hand-painted - according to Neuville made by inmates in Belgian prisons - but made of plastic. That way, the price could be reduced from 495 Belgian francs to 299. A successful move, according to Neuville: "Toute la Belgique se passione pour le jeu Eddy Merckx qui s'avère original, très amusant et palpitant à jouer. Encore aujourd'hui je reçois de très nombreux messages 'j'y ai joué toute ma jeunesse avec mon père, mon grand-père... que de beaux souvenirs'." [transl. "The whole of Belgium is passionate about the Eddy Merckx game, which is original, very fun and exciting to play. I still get a lot of messages saying 'I played it when I was young with my father and grandfather... great memories'."]

In 2018, Neuville is primarily known as an eminent poker player. He has been out of the gaming sector for twenty years. However, in anticipation of the start of the Tour in Brussels, he has ventured into a fourth, revised version of the game. The principle and rules of the game remain unchanged. The game board itself does undergo a make-over. The Alouette helicopter, dam and apartment buildings make place for the Royal Palace, the Atomium and the Grand Place of Brussels. So 50 years after the birth of the first version, a new up-to-date version is available, as a tribute to Eddy.

The Eddy Merckx game is obviously not the only board game inspired by cycling. Antwerp resident Ludo Nauws spent more than thirty years building up his own collection of cycling games. In total, his collection consisted of more than 200 different games from Belgium and abroad. The very first one he managed to weave together was, by the way, the Eddy Merckx game. At the end of 2018, the entire collection moved to KOERS. Museum of Cycling. We show a selection of Tour games from Nauws' collection. For a complete overview please visit

Ronde van Frankrijk

De Ronde van Frankrijk (Frans: Tour de France [ˌtuʀdəˈfʀɑ̃ːs]?, ook wel de Tour genoemd) is een meerdaagse wielerwedstrijd die voor het grootste deel door Frankrijk voert. Net als de rondes van Italië (Giro) en Spanje (Vuelta) is het een van de drie Grote Rondes. De Tour de France is ontstaan in 1903 en werd destijds georganiseerd door Henri Desgrange, hoofdredacteur van het tijdschrift L'Auto. Zijn jonge medewerker, journalist Georges Lefèvre, die tevens de Tourdirecteur van de eerste editie was, werd geïnspireerd door de individuele poging in 1895 van wielrenner Jean Marie Corre. Corre introduceerde in 1895 een fiets van aluminium en testte deze in zijn eentje over alle bekende parcoursen in Frankrijk. Hieruit ontstond in 1903 het idee om deze tijdritten jaarlijks te laten herleven. De Tour is sindsdien uitgegroeid tot de belangrijkste en eervolste wielerwedstrijd van het jaar. De renners met de meeste eindoverwinningen zijn de Fransen Jacques Anquetil en Bernard Hinault, de Belg Eddy Merckx en de Spanjaard Miguel Indurain, die elk vijf maal de Tour wonnen. De Amerikaan Lance Armstrong moest zijn zeven Touroverwinningen van 1999 tot 2005 inleveren omdat hij het gebruik van doping heeft toegegeven. Voor deze Tours werden geen nieuwe winnaars aangewezen.
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