The 96th edition of the Giro d’Italia begins today in Naples, one of the racing calendar’s most scenic and grueling events. A suitable day to remember Eddy Merckx, who won this Grand Tour an astonishing five times. Merckx’ unparallelled racing career has elevated the man, and the bikes branded with his name, to a level of cult status—especially his premium racing model: the MX Leader.
This MX Leader calls Johannesburg home, the pride and joy of Greg, a member of Jozi’s Hunter Cycling crew. It’s a 1991 issue, assembled with a Campagnolo C-Record group set and the overly flamboyant Cobalto brake calipers. Greg traded a Somec frame for the Merckx with a friend in Cape Town who is also a collector of superb steel.
It has been resprayed, it’s true, under the new clear coat are reproduction decals by Australia’s Cyclomondo. Greg decided on a rich black after admiring the bikes of Rapha’s Continental riders. It may be wearing a new suit but under the black is still Columbus’ MXL tubes. Special thanks to Greg and Guy Bower from O+P Cycling Apparel for the photos.