Tour wins: 1978-79, 1981-82, 1985
As hard as the granite coastline of his native Brittany, for many cycling connoisseurs five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault is second only to Eddy Merckx in the pantheon of great riders.
His physical durability and warrior-like personality earned him the nickname Le Blaireau (The Badger), though to those who watched him race he was often simply Le Patron (The Boss) - exuding authority over the rest of the field.
Hinault is the only rider along with Merckx to have won the Tour de France's yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys, and his record of 28 stage victories puts him second only to Merckx as the rider with the most stage wins. But the pure numbers do not tell the full tale of Hinault's astounding racing pedigree.
His aggressive style won him more than 200 race victories in 12 years of cycling. However, somewhat perversely, Hinault is perhaps best remembered for a race he did not win - the 1986 Tour, in which he repeatedly attacked teammate and wearer of the yellow jersey Greg LeMond.
Accused of having needlessly put pressure on the American, Hinault later said that he had felt LeMond needed to learn how to win through adversity.
Fearless, sometimes to the point of over-boldness, Hinault suffered many more crashes than is typical of a rider of his standing.
He rode much of the 1985 Tour with a black eye and broken nose after a crash in the final kilometre of Stage 14 - though he did get back in the saddle almost immediate, blood pouring from his head, to pedal to the finish line and into a waiting ambulance.
Leading the 1981 Paris-Roubaix, he fell on the notorious cobblestones and looked to have blown his chances.
Characteristically, Hinault picked up the pace to rejoin the front-runners - to looks of astonishment from the lead group - and won the race. Similar feats of Hinault's derring-do included, most notably, the wintry 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège which the Frenchman won despite contracting frost-bite in his right hand.
And he was to show this fighting spirit in other ways as well. During the 1984 Paris-Nice race he once punched a spectator who had blockaded the peloton in solidarity with striking shipyard workers.
And, two decades after his retirement, Hinault once again dished out his own unique brand of no-nonsense treatment, when a spectator ran onto the podium after stage 3 of the 2008 Tour de France. Hinault unceremoniously shoved him off the platform.
Inimitable and indefatigable, The Badger is truly one of the Tour's great personalities.
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