Merckx in shock over Van Schil's suicide
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Merckx in shock over Van Schil's suicide

by Bjorn Haake at 12:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Eddy Merckx is in shock after the news of his former domestique Vic van Schil committing suicide. Van Schil, who suffered from depression, died on September 30, just a couple of months shy of his 70th birthday.

Merckx couldn't believe the news. "It's like I lost a family member," the Belgian told "We all knew he wasn't well and we all tried to help, but it was in vain." Merckx added that they could see him spiraling down and they tried to invite him to rides and other activities. "Still, this is not a solution. I am trying to understand it, but I can't."

Reportedly, Van Schil's depressions were related to problems with his son. Van Schil was found by his wife in their garage in Nijlen.

Van Schil became a pro in 1962 and spent the first four years with the team of Poulidor. He rode with Merckx starting in 1968 and spent nine years with the Belgian superstar.

Van Schil's victory list includes Flèche Brabançonne and two stages of the Vuelta a España, but his biggest moment may well have been the 1969 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He and Merckx escaped with 80km to go and arrived together. Van Schil finished second, behind his teammate. Third-placed Barry Hoban was a whooping 8'05 back.


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