Living Legends

Jul 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
Tour de France Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault (France)
Age: 49
Tour Wins: 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985
Wore Yellow: 78 days
Bernard Hinault wasn't quite as flamboyant as France's other five-time winner, the late Jacques Anquetil—who reportedly swigged champagne from his water bottle during one Tour—but he always got the job done. Nicknamed "the Badger" for his tenacity, the five-eight, 149-pound Hinault scored 28 stage wins in eight Tours de France, a figure second only to Eddy Merckx's 34. He retired in 1986 and became a farmer in his native Brittany. What's replaced cycling in your life? "Chickens! I hung my bike on the wall, and that's where it's stayed." Will Lance prevail in 2004? "I give him a one-in-two chance. My advice: Think of it as the Tour—not your sixth Tour. If you race for a record, you'll have problems." What about critics who say cancer medicines boosted Armstrong's endurance? "To those assholes I say, I wish you just one thing: that you have the same sickness, that you have one foot in the grave. Then you'll see how much you'll want to do what you love, and do it to its maximum."