The 5th Edition Your everyday, everything for Eroica Britannia Today 22nd Sep. 2018

The Britannia Times

Cycling Legends x Eroica - Jean Bobet

Published on 21st. February 2018

A friend of Eroica, longtime journalist and writer; Chris Sidwells has always had a passion for heritage cycling. As both a judge of Best in Show and cycling history fanatic he set up the font of all information on the subject cycling legends...

We have teamed up with Cycling Legends to bring a series of interviews with interesting riders from a bygone era - The First being Jean Bobet. Jean is the brother of three-time Tour de France winner and world champion, Louison Bobet. He was a pro bike racer, a good one too, Paris-Nice winner in 1957, but nothing like his older brother. He could be given the ‘brother of’ tag many less gifted siblings receive, but he never will because racing was just part of Jean's life.

He was a gifted student who became a top journalist, then a successful businessman and an award-winning author. Old school maybe, but still one of cycling literature’s finest. It was with some trepidation I asked to meet him a few years ago.

Ostensibly it was to ask about the first five-time Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil, who I was writing about at the time. Bobet was in a unique position to observe Anquetil as a racer in the 1950s and as a journalist in the sixties. But I also wanted to meet him, and to talk about cycling in Anquetil’s era and beyond. It was an enlightening experience and things he told me then will appear from time to time in www.cyclinglegends.co.uk. But for now, this is Jean Bobet talking about Jacques Anquetil the cyclist.

“We first met in 1953 when we were independent riders. My first impression of him was something that has never changed; Anquetil was perfection on a bike.

“In my opinion cycling champions divide into two schools. There are those, like my brother, who are first of all athletes. What I mean is that they could have done anything in sport; they have robust physiques, they move well, they have balance. Louison could have been a champion at tennis, football, anything. Bernard Hinault was the same. The other school are cyclists and cyclists only.

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