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Cyclist Spotlight: Bernard Hinault

Spotlight on Bernard Hinault, five-time Tour de France cycling champion.

Bernard Hinault, affectionately known as The Badger, was born in 1954 in Brittany, France. He is counted as one of the greatest cyclists of all time and has been inducted into the National Cycling Hall of Fame. In 1978 he won his first Tour de France which would start a streak that lasted from 1980 to 1985 — where he won five consecutive Tours de France.

He’s also one of only six cyclists who have won each of the three Grand Tours:

  • Giro d’Italia
  • Vuelta a España
  • Tour de France

As one of the masters of the sport, Bernard Hinault dominated cycling throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s — and he remains the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France.

Hinault is famous for his charismatic personality and made his professional cycling debut in 1974 at the age of 19. This is the same year that Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx (also regarded as one of the top cyclists to have ever lived) was at the peak of his cycling career.

Hinault went on to break some of Merckx’s cycling records and earned over 200 wins in a 12-year span. Bernard Hinault eventually retired from cycling at the age of 32 at the height of his career thus preserving his reputation as one of the greatest cyclists in the world.

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