Hay Player

William Fotheringham

Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling

Hay Festival 2015, 

Bernard Hinault is one of the greatest cyclists of all time. He is a five-time winner of the Tour de France and the only man to have won each of the Grand Tours on more than one occasion. 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 teammates Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond provide some of the greatest moments in Tour history.

Sports writer and journalist William Fotheringham is the Guardian's cycling correspondent and author of a number of books about the cycling world, including the number one bestseller Merckx: Half Man Half Bike and biographies of Fausto Coppi and Tom Simpson. 

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William Fotheringham