An article appeared in the British paper The Telegraph recently, with the headline “Tour de France: Chris Froome now stands comparison even to Eddy Merckx”. It was written by Oliver Brown who says that Froome “is fit to be bracketed even now in the same breath as Merckx.”

He also goes on to say that “The finest tribute to his pedigree is that he has become the first cyclist since the indomitable Belgian in 1970 to win the maillot jaune and polka-dot jersey as ‘king of the mountains’ in the same year.” However, that seems to be the only real comparison he makes between Froome and Merckx.

Whilst 30 year-old Froome undoubtedly has the potential to go on to win more big races during his career, his palmares as it stands pales into comparison against Merckx’s.

Apart from his two Tour de France wins, Chris Froome’s other big wins are two victories of each of Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour of Oman, with one win in both Critérium International and Vuelta a Andalucía. To-date, he hasn’t come close to victory in any one-day classics.

By comparison, Merckx achieved the following wins (amongst hundreds of others):

5 x Tour de France
5 x Giro d’Italia
1 x Vuelta a España
3 x Paris–Nice
1 x Tour de Suisse
7 x Milan–San Remo
2 x Tour of Flanders
3 x Paris–Roubaix
5 x Liège–Bastogne–Liège
2 x Giro di Lombardia

Amongst the records that Merckx achieved in his career, are that he finished his career with the most victories across the monuments (i.e. nineteen). He holds the record for most Grand Tour victories with 11, along with the record for most stage wins across all three Grand Tours with 64. He has completed the most Giro-Tour doubles in history with three.

Merckx was also the first rider to win cycling’s Triple Crown which has only been accomplished one other time, by Stephen Roche in 1987. He was also the first rider to win all three major classifications – the general, points, and mountains classifications – in one Grand Tour at the 1968 Giro d’Italia, and again at the 1969 Tour de France.

He is also just one of the three riders to win all five ‘Monuments of Cycling’ (i.e., Milan–San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia), the other two being Rik Van Looy and Roger De Vlaeminck.


  1. Wow that’s a long bow to draw. To be compared to Merckx. Lets give it at least 3 more years then we can check Froome’s progress.


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