The Dream Bike of 1969 - Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France Winning Bicycle
Here is a beautifully drawn illustration by Rebour that was published in International Cycle Sport soon after Merckx’s victory - along with a second highlighting some of the key components. It is only in monochrome but the accuracy and the detail shows an in-depth understanding by the artist of bike construction and equipment.
Over time a lot of myths have built-up about the bike’s that Eddy rode - but these are probably the most accurate illustrations that were actually done at the time and should be a reliable reference free from later changes.
The frame was made by Kessels who are thought to have been based on Konigin Astridlaan or at 347 Nieuwpoortse Steenweg in Oostende and mainly used the “Main D’Or” brand for their own bikes. However despite their high profile supplying pro teams in the late 1960’s they seem to have vanished without trace. Perhaps someone could ask Eddy the next time they see him?
Also there is now a flickr group for Kessels bikes that includes documents showing that they were founded in 1919. They also had the Cycles L’Hirondelle, Cycles Emperal, Cycles Alpa, Cycles Merita, Silvo, Silver Crown and Littoral trade marks - but these were bought (along with Alcyon?) after they had ceased being used elsewhere.
If anyone wants copies of the original ICS pages as PDFs - then contact info via internationalcyclesport.com