The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

Another French champion is Bernard Hinault, from Brittany. Not as ruthless as Merckx but able to win every time a goal is set, including the unpleasant Roubaix.

After 4 Tour wins, Hinault renounced to participate in the 1983 edition due to knee problems and in 1984 he had to deal with the domineering advent of Laurent Fignon, already winner of the previous edition and teammate at Tapie’s "Vie Claire". In 1985 Hinault was 31 years old, Fignon was at rest for a tendon damage but a new insidious teammate joined the Vie Claire team: Greg LeMond. During the Saint Etienne stage Hinault fell, he broke his nose and barely passed the finish line with a bloody yellow jersey. He struggled to defend his leadership on the Pyrenees and LeMond had the opportunity to declare that his team director Koechli stopped him from wining the Tour. Greg came back to win the following year with the support of Hinault (who finished in 2nd place and who announced it would be his last Tour), and winning again in the ‘89 and ‘90 Tour.

Giancarlo Brocci