Cycling great Eddy Merckx hospitalized after bike crash

The Associated Press
FILE - In this Thursday, July 4, 2019 file photo, former Belgian cycling champion Eddy Merckx waves during the Tour de France cycling race teams presentation at the Grand Place in Brussels, ahead of upcoming Saturday's start of the race. Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad says cycling great Eddy Merckx has sustained head injuries in a crash while riding with friends. The newspaper says the 74-year-old Merckx crashed Sunday Oct. 13, 2019, and was admitted to a hospital in Dendermonde. Merckx is regarded by many as the greatest-ever cyclist who won five Tour de France titles and a record 34 stages. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, July 4, 2019 file photo, former Belgian cycling champion Eddy Merckx waves during the Tour de France cycling race teams presentation at the Grand Place in Brussels, ahead of upcoming Saturday's start of the race. Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad says cycling great Eddy Merckx has sustained head injuries in a crash while riding with friends. The newspaper says the 74-year-old Merckx crashed Sunday Oct. 13, 2019, and was admitted to a hospital in Dendermonde. Merckx is regarded by many as the greatest-ever cyclist who won five Tour de France titles and a record 34 stages. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- A Belgian newspaper reported Monday that cycling great Eddy Merckx sustained head injuries in a crash while bike 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.

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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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