Ahh, Monsieur Hinault, always looking after his own personal legacy.
We had to laugh as we read the Badger’s suggestion that reigning Tour and Vuelta champion Chris Froome take a whack at the Giro d’Italia before going for his record-tying fifth victory in the France.
“He has proved that you can win the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year, so why not the Giro?” Hinault told the Guardian. Yes, why not?
The Frenchman was intimating that Froome should do the disastrous Giro-Tour double, a folly that broke both Alberto Contador and, most recently, Nairo Quintana. They both came into the Tour like old men and watched Froome ride them off his wheel and drop them down the mountain.
In our opinion, Hinault is hoping he can somehow sucker Froome into the double so he’ll come to France exhausted and therefore fail to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx of Belgium, Miguel Induráin, and, surprise, Bernard Hinault, as the only riders with five wins in Le Tour.
A little self-interest in all that, Bernie?
Obviously, Hinault feels that five is a crowd and that Froome should put off his induction into the club as long as possible. Like never, if Hinault has his way.
Hinault likes his club just the way it is, as small as possible, so he looks all the more impressive. Thank God, they stripped that Lance Armstrong guy of his seven Tour wins. That really ruined the club and took the spotlight off the Breton hard-head.
Once Armstrong went all the way back to zero, things were golden again. Hinault was back on the podium of his own mind, nobody to diminish his fame and reputation. That Texan guy, he was the worst. Thankfully Lance is stuck in his rec room staring at those seven yellow jerseys that signify nothing except cheating and disgrace. Hinault will drink a big fat Kir Breton to that.
Now however, what’s that on the horizon, with the Sky kit, the massive budget and endless supply of top climbing domestiques? It’s that spindly and boy-scout polite Chris Froome. That half African, half Briton looking to spoil Hinault’s private party.
When Froome won his third Tour de France, there was no need for panic. However, now that he’s won his fourth, Hinault is deeply concerned. Things are bad, like merde bad. They would need another chair at the club and Hinault is in no mood to purchase that chair or make room for it around the table.
Sadly, Chris Froome isn’t going to take up Hinault’s challenge of a Giro-Tour double. His sole obsession is winning number five. That impressive athletic feat will knock down to door to the club and that will be a terrible day for Hinault. Instead of splitting the fame four ways, his cut will only be 20%.
That will make for a very bitter Badger.