Bernard Hinault

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Description

Description

Bernard Hinault (pronounced [bɛʁ.naʁ i.no]; born 14 November 1954) is a French former professional cyclist. With 147 professional victories,[1] including five in the Tour de France, he is often named among the greatest cyclists of all time.

Hinault started cycling as an amateur in his native Brittany. After a successful amateur career, he signed with the Gitane–Campagnolo team to turn professional in 1975. He took breakthrough victories at both the Liège–Bastogne–Liège classic and the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré stage race in 1977. In 1978, he won his first two Grand Tours: the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France. In the following years, he was the most successful professional cyclist, adding another Tour victory in 1979 and a win at the 1980 Giro d’Italia. Although a knee injury forced him to quit the 1980 Tour de France while in the lead, he returned to win the World Championship road race later in the year. He added another Tour victory in 1981, before completing his first Giro-Tour double in 1982.

After winning the 1983 Vuelta a España, a return of his knee problems forced him to miss that year’s Tour de France, won by his teammate Laurent Fignon. Conflict within the Renault team led to his leaving and joining La Vie Claire. With his new team, he raced the 1984 Tour de France, being savaged by Fignon. He recovered the following year, winning another Giro-Tour double with the help of teammate Greg LeMond. In the 1986 Tour de France, he engaged in an intra-team rivalry with LeMond, who won his first of three Tours. Hinault retired shortly thereafter. As of 2020 he is the most recent French winner of the Tour de France. After his cycling career, Hinault turned to farming, while fulfilling enforcement duties for the organisers of the Tour de France until 2016.

All through his career, Hinault was known by the nickname le blaireau (“the badger”); he associated himself with the animal due to its aggressive nature, a trait he embodied on the bike. Within the peloton, Hinault assumed the role of patron, exercising authority over races he took part in.

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