Since Merckx's retirement from the sport on , he has remained active in the cycling world.He began his own bicycle chain, Eddy Merckx Cycles, in 1980 and its bicycles were used by several professional teams in the 1980s and 1990s.He is widely thought to be the greatest and most successful rider in the history of cycling.However, Merckx was caught in three separate doping incidents during his career.He co-owns the tour and also the Tour of Oman, both of which he still organizes.He is ranked as the all-time number 1 cyclist according to Cycling Ranking Milan–San Remo, his first participation in one of cycling's Monuments, was the next event on the calendar for Merckx.
Merckx broke the hour record in October 1972, extending the record by almost 800 meters.
Felice Gimondi (pictured in 1966) won the men's road race at the 1973 UCI Road World Championships, ahead of Merckx who was unable to contest the final sprint to the line, finishing last out of the leading group of four.
The next day, on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, Merckx rode to limit his losses after suffering several attacks from other general classification riders, including Poulidor, Vicente López Carril and Gonzalo Aja.
He acquired the nickname "The Cannibal" after a teammate told his daughter of how Merckx would not let anyone else win, and the daughter referred to him as a cannibal.
Merckx achieved 525 victories over his eighteen-year career.After the 1967 season, Merckx moved to Faema, and won the Giro d'Italia, his first of eleven Grand Tour victories – a record that still stands today.