Joseph Bruyère's career is not easy to explain without mentioning Eddy Merckx. Their bond was defined by a loyal friendship and unconditional support. The Liège rider himself also built up a respectable portfolio of achievements. Three times Omloop het Volk, two times Liège-Bastogne-Liege, one stage in the Tour de France, eleven days sporting the yellow jersey: thanks to this race legacy, in periods without Merckx the rider would not have been a helper but a leader. In 1977, Joseph Bruyère won the second stage and the Queen Stage during the Catalan Cycling Week. On the final climb to Andorra, he made his attack. Freddy Maertens, leader of the general ranking, won the sprint to be in second place ahead of Eddy Merckx but lost his jersey to Bruyère. After five days of racing, the Walloon competitor finally had to bow down to a much stronger Maertens. He had to satisfy hiùself with second place in the final ranking. One year later, after Merckx's retirement, he showed just how well he could perform in the number one stage. He finished 4th in the Tour de France that year.