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Tour de France legend Bernard Hinault stops off in Cragg Vale

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Tour de France legend Bernard Hinault popped in to the Robin Hood Inn, Cragg Vale for a pint as part of the build-up to this year’s Grand Depart.

Hinault, a five-times winner of the Tour, signed photos and t-shirts at the pub as well as taking questions on the world famous race from scores of journalists.

He was also given a framed painting by the pub, which he said he would hang in the cycling shop he has just opened with his son.

He said: “The Tour de France is going to be like a big party.

“We are very happy in France that it is happening here in Yorkshire.

“It was a fantastic reaction in London when they hosted it in 2007 and I’m sure it will be the same here.

“The welcome has been extraordinary, I feel really touched by it.

“You can really feel the enthusiasm and the warmth of the people to have it here.”

Mr Hinault is one of only five cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours and the only cyclist to have won each more than once.

He reckons Britain has a great chance of success in this year’s event, but warned the riders to be wary of the conditions in and around Calderdale.

He said: “It depends on the conditions, the wind and which way it blows, rather than the difficulty of the route.

“The riders will just have to hope they have the right conditions on the day.

“Chris Froome won it last year so he has to be my favourite to win it but Bradley Wiggins won it 2011 and Mark Cavendish is also in the running.”

 

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