Rumours travelled fast, but today AG2R La Mondiale and Eddy Merckx can confirm: Oliver Naesen, Romain Bardet and their team mates will be racing on Eddy Merckx bikes.
Jochim Aerts, CEO of Belgian Cycling Factory(which has Eddy Merckx under its umbrella): “Eddy Merckx will be the race bike partner of AG2R La Mondiale for the upcoming 2 years, with the option of a two-year extension.”
“It’s really marvelous news for our bike brand. Timing couldn’t be better either. Next year, the Tour de France will start in Brussels, with Eddy Merckx himself as the main guest. It will be 50 years ago Eddy has won his first Tour de France. Perhaps Romain Bardet can do the same, riding an Eddy Merckx. It’s a dream coming true.”
“Our R&D department, together with 40 years of Merckx engineering experience, developed a brand-new flagship: the 525. The riders of AG2R La Mondiale will be the first to race with our new top-of-the line bike. Every Merckx enthusiast will be able to buy the bike at the start of the Tour de France.”
“The match we have with AG2R La Mondiale is just perfect,” continues Aerts, “the team is giving us the opportunity to show to the entire world our Merckx bikes are once again at a world-class level. Without compromising our ‘Modern Heritage’ identity! And, take a look at the bike. The minimalistic lifestyle design of the AG2R La Mondiale team bike is already the perfect example.”
Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team: "We are proud to partner up for two seasons with Eddy Merckx bikes. Throughout our discussions, I appreciated the professionalism and the mindset of the management team, which is committed to providing our team with high-performance equipment. Our two companies are driven by common values as well as the search for performance, and we are confident that the relationship will be strong and fruitful.”
“We will have access to very high-end equipment, which is exactly what we are looking for in order to achieve the highest sporting goals when racing all over the world,” Lavenu continues, “Personally, I am happy to see the name of Eddy Merckx, one of my childhood idols, appear on the jerseys and bikes of our team.”
Eddy Merckx, Cycling Legend:“I’m proud to have a WorldTour team riding Eddy Merckx bikes at the Tour de France next year as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of my first Tour victory.”
More about the Bike
The AG2R La Mondiale 525 will be a rim brake Eddy Merckx race bike.
- Wheels: MAVIC
- Tires : Vredestein
- Pedals : LOOK
- Kit stem-handlebar : DEDA
- Crank - power meter : ROTOR
- Chain : KMC
- Cycling computer : Lezyne
- Bar tape : Lizard Skins
- Bottle cages: Elite
The new 525 is going to be the new flagship model of the Eddy Merckx collection. The bike will have the same distinctive, minimalistic artwork with striking, lifestyle colors, just as the other Merckx bikes. “The 525 weighs 6,8kg (no pedals, size M). We’ve managed to create a very light bike and our tests have shown the new 525 is performing brilliantly in the wind tunnel as well,” tells Toon Wils, R&D engineer Belgian Cycling Factory. “Despite the fact we reduced the frontal area for aero and weight reasons, we were able to increase the frontal stiffness of the 525, while keeping the known rear stays who provide some comfort. That combination is making this 525 a very versatile bike,” concludes Wils.
The new 525 will be in-store available at the start of the Tour de France 2019 (July).