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Tour de France

Bernard Hinault votes for himself and wins best French all-time rider award

'I voted for me and I'm not ashamed to say it. I think that if Anquetil had had to do that, he would have also put himself in first place,' says five-time Tour winner.

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On the day of the Tour de France start L’Equipe has published a list of the top 10 all-time French riders with Bernard Hinault coming out on top. The five-time Tour de France winner, who raced during the 1970s and 1980s, was part of the jury and admitted to the French publication that he voted for himself.

Such modesty hardly affected the result with the 67-year-old edging another five-time Tour winner, Jacques Anquetil into second place.

“It’s difficult for me to analyze it because I was elected in first place, but if we judge in relation to the prize list of each of us, everyone is well placed. It has always been said that I was the second greatest behind Eddy Merckx at the world level, so it is logical to find myself first at the French level,” Hinault said.

“I really realized that after my career. When I raced, I made my records only for myself, I didn’t care what I represented. I never thought of being better than Jacques Anquetil, it was only later, when I was told that I had left a more important trace than him in the history of French cycling, that I began to understand all that. And to agree.

When asked if he hesitated when voting for himself, Hinault responded: “Not at all, I voted for me and I’m not ashamed to say it. I think that if Anquetil had had to do that, he would have also put himself in first place. I marked French cycling in a beautiful way, there is no scruple in admitting it. It would have skewed the rankings if I hadn’t voted for me. Besides, my top 10 is very close to the one you released.”

Julian Alaphilippe was the only current rider to crack the top 10, taking eighth place.

  1. Bernard Hinault, 196 points
  2. Jacques Anquetil, 184
  3. Louison Bobet, 150
  4. Raymond Poulidor, 143#
  5. Laurent Fignon, 116
  6. Bernard Thévenet, 83
  7. André Darrigade, 69
  8. Julian Alaphilippe, 64
  9. Laurent Jalabert, 53
  10. Raphaël Geminiani, 16

For each vote by a member of the jury, 10 points for 1st, 9 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd, 7 for 4th, 6 for 5th, 5 for 6th, 4 to the 7th, 3 to the 8th, 2 to the 9th and 1 to the 10th.

The same vote was opened for fans online with Hinault winning by a huge margin.

Top 10 via internet votes

  1. Bernard Hinault, 63,559 votes
  2. Jacques Anquetil, 41,420
  3. Raymond Poulidor, 16,433
  4. Laurent Fignon, 13,669
  5. Julian Alaphilippe, 11,647
  6. Louison Bobet, 11,461
  7. Laurent Jalabert, 6,771
  8. Bernard Thévenet, 3,015
  9. Richard Virenque, 2,787
  10. André Darrigade, 604