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PREVIEW: "Obituaries: Michel Brux"- Pete Cossins

PREVIEW: "Obituaries: Michel Brux"- Pete Cossins
PREVIEW: This extract has been taken from The Road Book 2021. To read the full obituary and many more, pre-order your signed edition while stocks last. The Road Book, as it does every year, also pays tribute to significant individuals of the sport who have sadly passed away.

French sprinter Michel Brux, who spent three seasons with the Mercier BP team in the mid-1960s and outsprinted world champion Eddy Merckx in 1967 to claim his most renowned victory, died in his home town of Tarbes at the age of 79. A good sprinter, he won 93 races during his career, mostly in the amateur ranks. Regional champion in 1959, he gained selection for the French team that went to the World Amateur Road Championship in 1962, where he finished 32nd. The following week, once again representing the French amateur team that also featured future Tour de France winner Lucien Aimar, he won a stage of the Tour of Luxembourg.

He took on independent status two years later, racing in Mercier BP colours and claiming 16 victories that season, many against leading professionals. He took out a full professional licence the following season, staying with Mercier BP. However, the team manager Antonin Magne rarely selected him and he only competed in half as many races as the previous year, winning just once, at Saint-Céré, and taking third place in the Bordeaux–Saintes one-day race.

This experience led to him returning to the independent ranks in 1966, although still racing for Mercier BP. It led to a considerable change in his fortunes as he took 15 victories. His most famous success came in 1967, his final season as an independent at the Grand Prix de la Soierie in Charlieu. With 30km remaining, he broke away with young world champion Eddy Merckx and another rider. Merckx tried to ride them off his wheel, but the pair hung on and it was Brux who narrowly won the final sprint. Following his racing career, he worked for a print company until his retirement. He was survived by his wife and three children.

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