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.
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.
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Only very slightly marred by the mispronunciation of key names, e.g. Koechli. Fotheringham, who lived and raced in France for 2 years, and has reported on cycling for more than 20, is informed, perceptive & witty.
An interesting story filling in the many gaps of my knowledge. Just wish there had been a bit more of a wow factor but then Hinault Isn't a wow type of guy.
What did you like most about Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling?
Very well written with lots of interesting analysis and detail
What other book might you compare Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling to, and why?
Other cycling books
What about Joseph Kloska’s performance did you like?
Good french pronunciation and pleasant voice to listen to
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, a lot of detail to take in