Hoban at the 1966 UCI Road World Championships
|Full name||Barry Hoban|
5 February 1940 |
Barry Hoban (born 5 February 1940) is a former English professional cyclist who rode during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He formerly held the record for the most stage wins in the Tour de France by a British rider, winning eight between 1967 and 1975. He holds the record for the most Tours completed by a British rider – having finished 11 of the 12 he started between 1965 and 1978. He was also the first Briton to win two consecutive stages of the Tour (a feat matched by Mark Cavendish in 2008).
Hoban started cycle racing in 1955, and by the end of the year was competing against Tom Simpson in individual time trials. Two years later, he was fourth in the British League of Racing Cyclists hill-climb (the senior title being won by Simpson). Despite his early prowess as a climber, Hoban later established himself as one of Europe's best sprinters.
Inspired by the European successes of fellow Yorkshireman Brian Robinson and of Simpson, Hoban went to France in 1962, turned professional two years later, and stayed abroad for another 16 years. He rode for Mercier-Hutchinson-BP where his team leader was Raymond Poulidor who is famous for coming second three times in the Tour de France but never winning. Hoban was single then and used to come back to Wakefield for the winter with a case full of used shorts/jerseys etc. and sell them to the local riders (it wasn't easy then to get good quality kit and what was available was expensive). Dozens of riders in the BCF West Yorks division had a pair of shorts with Mercier Hutchinson embroidered on the legs. Back then, the best frames were hand-built British ones and Maurice Woodrup, a Leeds frame builder, would have a new frame sprayed Mercier pink waiting for him each year. He would take it back to have Mercier transfers attached.
In the 1967 Tour de France, after the death of Tom Simpson, Hoban won the next stage. Two years later, in 1969, Hoban married Simpson's widow, with whom he has a daughter Daniella, and two stepdaughters Jane and Joanna.
Tour de France stage wins
- 1967 - stage 14 - Carpentras – Sète – allowed to win after the death of Tom Simpson on the previous stage
- 1968 - stage 19 - Grenoble – Sallanches – a rarity in that Hoban won a mountain stage, not a sprint
- 1969 - stage 18 - Mourenx – Bordeaux
- 1969 - stage 19 - Bordeaux - Brive-la-Gaillarde – the first Briton to win successive stages of the Tour.
- 1973 – stage 11 - Montpellier - Argelès-sur-Mer
- 1973 - stage 19 - Bourges – Versaille
- 1974 - stage 13 - Avignon – Montpellier
- 1975 - stage 8 - Angoulême - Bordeaux
Other career highlights
Hoban also won two stages of the 1964 Vuelta a España and the 1974 Gent–Wevelgem, where he finished ahead of Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck. In the ’Monument’ Classics, his best performances were third places in Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1969) and Paris–Roubaix (1972). Towards the end of a career spent largely in mainland Europe, Hoban occasionally returned to the UK to race; he won the London-Bradford race and was second in the British professional road-race championship in 1979, and he won the Grand Prix of Manchester in 1980.
At least one bicycle was made with his name on it, including Barry Hoban-badged frames made by Coventry Cycles (later trading as Coventry Eagle). This is a common practice of retired racing cyclists. Hoban lives in Mid-Wales after moving there to work with the factory that built his frames.
- Barry Hoban: British Legends Cycling Weekly 15-Sep-2010
- "Barry Hoban Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- "Hoban gets his first Classic!". Cycling (London: IPC Media): 3. 13 April 1974. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Sidwells, Chris (2 April 2014). "A word from Barry Hoban, the man who beat Merckx". theroar.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- "50 Cycling Heroes Named in British Cycling's Hall of Fame". British Cycling. 2009-12-17.
- Hoban, Barry; Wilcockson, John (1981). Watching the Wheels Go Round. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 978-0-09-145370-1.
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