Three decades on from his retirement, he remains the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France. His victory in 1985 marks the turning point when the nation who had dominated the first eight decades of the race they had invented suddenly found they were no longer able to win it.
Hinault is the last ‘old-school’ champion: a larger-than-life character from a working-class background, capable of winning on all terrains, in major Tours and one-day Classics. Nicknamed the 'Badger' for his combative style, he led a cyclists’ strike in his first Tour and instigated a legendary punch-up with demonstrators in 1982 while in the middle of a race. Hinault's battles with team-mates Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond provide some of the greatest moments in Tour history.
In Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling, number-one best-selling author William Fotheringham finally gets to the bottom of this fascinating character and explores the reasons why the nation that considers itself cycling’s home has found it so hard to produce another champion.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Nichiless on 02-06-15
I, Hinault - The Badger's life
A fine journey into the mind, body & sporting life of possibly the most impressive - and proud - racing cyclist... ever. Splendidly written, this book is a must read/listen for any cycling and sports fan. It offers a deeper than usual insight into winning with panache. Highly recommended.
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By Secret leader on 07-06-18
Never corner a badger.
My favourite cyclist (Sorry Eddy), Bernard Hinault never once compromised his beliefs and values, the last true patron of the peleton, as a neo-pro he must have been inspiring and terrifying to ride with. Stubborn and immovable, the respect he gained from his peers is well deserved, as is his reputation as a cyclist capable of imposing his will and defiance on the whole field not just his closest rivals. Fotheringham's excellent book (as are his other books) portrays Hinault how you would imagine he really is, proud yet disconnected, honourable yet treacherous, a true winner who cared little for the prize, but rather the means, there's no one like him now or before. France may not have to wait so long for another tour winner, but they will never see another like Hinault.