Axel Eddy Lucien Jonkheer Merckx (born 8 August 1972) is a Belgian former professional road bicycle racer and the son of five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx. He is currently the team director of UCI Continental team Hagens Berman Axeon.
|Full name||Axel Merckx|
|Born||8 August 1972|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lb)|
|Current team||Hagens Berman Axeon|
Born in Uccle, Axel Merckx became a professional cyclist in 1993, winning the Belgian national road race championship in 2000. He repeatedly vowed to make his mark by accomplishing feats that had eluded his father Eddy, such as winning a Tour de France stage at Alpe d'Huez and the Paris–Tours classic. He did not succeed, but competed in eight Tours de France and finished as the highest-placed Belgian rider six times. His personal best was cracking the top 10 during the 1998 edition.
During the 2006 Tour de France, Merckx announced that he signed a new contract for one extra season with Phonak, later renamed iShares. He stated that this would be his last season as a professional road bicycle racer. However, after Phonak announced that it would stop sponsoring the cycling team, Merckx signed a contract with Team T-Mobile, where he had started his professional career. During the 2006 Tour Merckx was instrumental in forcing the pace of the peloton for teammate Floyd Landis who won the Tour. He was often times the only teammate able to stay with Landis and the group of favorites and he initially finished 31st overall, however it was later discovered that Landis had failed a doping control after stage 17 and the Tour win was revoked.
He created the Granfondo Axel Merckx National Series, with its inaugural event being the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan on 10 July 2011 in Penticton, British Columbia. His father, Eddy, rode in the inaugural event.
His name was on the list of doping tests published by the French Senate on 24 July 2013 that were collected during the 1998 Tour de France then retested in 2004. Merckx was not one of then 18 Riders named as testing positive for EPO but was on a list of 12 named riders whose test results were listed as "suspicious".
Merckx married Canadian triathlete Jodi Cross in 1997, and currently resides in Kelowna, British Columbia. They have two children, Axana (born 5 May 2001) and Athina Grace (born 29 June 2005).
Because his father was made a baron—a personal, hereditary title—in Belgium, Axel Merckx has also been ennobled. He is therefore officially referred to as Ecuyer (in French) or Jonkheer (in Dutch) Axel Merckx. This honorific title is comparable to the British The Honourable, when the untitled person is the offspring of a baron, earl or viscount.
- 1st Stage 9 Tour de l'Avenir
- 2nd Sint-Truiden
- 6th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
- 8th Overall Danmark Rundt
- 1st GP Sanson
- 3rd Giro di Lombardia
- 4th Road race, UCI Road World Championships
- 6th Brabantse Pijl
- 7th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
- 2nd Overall Bayern–Rundfahrt
- 1st Stage 3
- 2nd Clásica de San Sebastián
- 2nd Subida Urkiola
- 10th Overall Tour de France
- 3rd Road race, National Road Championships
- 4th Tour du Haut Var
- 9th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
- 1st Road race, National Road Championships
- 1st Overall Tour de la Région Wallonne
- 1st Stage 8 Giro d'Italia
- 3rd Châteauroux Classic
- 4th Overall Rheinland–Pfalz Rundfahrt
- 5th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
- 5th Tour du Haut Var
- 7th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
- 9th Overall Volta a Catalunya
- 10th La Flèche Wallonne
- 1st Grand Prix de Wallonie
- 1st Ronde d'Aix-en-Provence
- 3rd Brabantse Pijl
- 5th Trofeo Laigueglia
- 7th Coppa Sabatini
- 7th Route Adélie de Vitré
- 2nd Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
- 6th La Flèche Wallonne
- 1st Overall Tour de l'Ain
- 3rd Overall Rheinland–Pfalz Rundfahrt
- 3rd Overall Hessen–Rundfahrt
- 4th Overall Tour of Belgium
- 3rd Road race, Olympic Games
- 5th Brabantse Pijl
- 1st Stage 5 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
- 3rd Brabantse Pijl
- "UCI approves Axeon Pro Continental status". Cyclingnews.com. Immediate Media Company. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Etat présent de la noblesse belge, 4th series, 2003 /2014
- "Hagens Berman Axeon". UCI.org. Union Cycliste Internationale. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- Brecht Decaluwé (28 July 2007). "Merckx says farewell with final break". Angoulême. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
- "Axel Merckx wins after Tour criterium at Lommel". 7 August 2007. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
- "French Senate releases positive EPO cases from 1998 Tour de France".
- "Cycling's next generation". axeoncycling.com. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- 25.000 nobles en Belgique. La Dernière Heure / Les Sports (DH Net) 11 July 2005.
- Afschaffen van de adelstand Website of Liberales denktank.
- Koning en Keizerrijken Het geheim van de Adel.