___Race Snippets


41st World Championship Road Race 1974


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian













Merckx’s Last Lap Capture and Attack

Montreal, Canada hosted the first World Road Race Championship held outside the continent of Europe. The Montreal Circuit presented 262.5 km over a difficult 21 laps of a 12.5 km circuit. Heavy favorite Eddy Merckx faced a very strong French contingent. 

Following a several early breakaways, Belgian Freddy Maertens broke clear of the peloton with Bernard Thevenet (Fra) and Constantino ‘Tino’ Conti (Ita).

Frenchman Bernard Thevenet alone on Mont Royal [ photo courtesy of Ken Johnson ]

The Frenchman dropped Maertens and Conti and broke away solo with 100 km to the finish. Off a very hard pace a five rider chase group formed with Eddy Merckx, Herman Van Springel, Raymond Poulidor, Giacinto Santambrogio, and Mariano Martinez and shattered the peloton.

Eddy Merckx leads the hard chase [ photo courtesy of Championnats du monde de cyclisme ]

Thevenet’s 2'30" lead with 25 km (2 laps) to go began to fal. He was caught on the final lap with 7 km to go. A determined Eddy Merckx (pictured below) attack on the final climb of Mont Réal (Mont Royal). Only 38 year old Raymond Poulidor could hold Merckx’s wheel. 

Merckx drives the pace on the final climb of Mont Royal [ photo courtesy of Ken Johnson ]

Eddy Merckx (Bel) won the two-rider breakaway sprint and earned the 1974 “Rainbow Jersey”. Raymond Poulidor (Fra) held on for second place.

SPECIAL NOTE: The grueling pace of the race saw only 18 riders finish the race.

WCRR August 25, 1974
262.5 Km [ Montreal, Canada ]

1. Eddy Merckx (Bel) 6h52’22”

2. Raymond Poulidor (Fra) +2”

3. Mariano Martinez (Fra) +37”

Starters: 66
Finishers: 18
Average Speed: 38.194 km/h

WCRR 1973

WCRR 1975

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