Hinault: Contador moet Armstrong een afstraffing geven

Frits Bakker

MONTEREUA – Zo eigenzinnig en nukkig als hij vroeger in het peloton was, zo is hij nog altijd, al is Bernard Hinault 54 inmiddels en beweegt hij zich meestal in de schaduw van de grote Tourbazen tijdens huldigingen op het podium. Maar af en toe trekt hij zijn mond weer eens open en spreekt hij zich uit over zaken die altijd wel gevoelig liggen, zoals de comeback van Lance Armstrong, over de hardheid van de Tour de France, over doping, over de communicatiemiddelen in de koers (de oortjes) en over de Franse wielersport.

‘De Das’, zoals hij in het peloton bekend stond, was vorige week bij de presentatie van de Touretappe in Montereau, waar de laatste etappe van start gaat. Hij gaf er een opzienbarend interview aan Le Parisien. We willen het u, ook al is het in het Engels, niet graag onthouden.

Bernard Hinault never had the reputation of guarding his tongue when he ruled the peloton as the patron. Now 54, it’s obvious some things haven’t changed. Le Blaireau — the Badger — didn’t hold back when he fielded questions during a presentation this week in Montereau, the starting village of the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France.

The last French winner of the Tour had an opinion on just about everything, and didn’t hold back when it came to criticizing the current state of the French peloton.

“There are champions who become like civil servants when they turn pro. You have to put a knife to their throats to get any results,” Hinault said. “The French earn too much money and don’t make enough effort.”

The French daily Le Parisien published extracts of Hinault’s critiques in its Friday edition.

“The French don’t train,” Hinault said. “Nobody taps them in the mouth to get them going. It’s necessary to block their salary and later hand them back the money if they win something.”

On whether the Tour is too hard: “The Tour is not too hard. It is necessary to stop complaining. Cycling is a hard profession, but it’s better than going to the factory. A racer who wins is never paid too much. If you really want to win, you fight until your last breath.”

On Armstrong’s comeback: “I hope he will not be there. Is he afraid of France? Nobody forced him to come, he only has to stay home! He cannot win the Tour. I hope that Contador gives him a beating.”

On doping: “The French have taken as much as the others. What is not normal is that they are not treated in the same manner as other sportsmen.”

On earpieces: “I am against them. It is just a ‘Game Boy’ that has a gigolo attached at the end telling the racer when to take a piss. With Guimard, we studied the map and the wind the morning before the stage.”

On Greg LeMond: “He was a good racer, but not an attacker. He was unable to make tactics by himself. In 1986, I kept my promise to help him win the Tour.”

 

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