Bernard Hinault

Nicknames of Cyclists – H

Early 20th journalists started creating nicknames for the cyclists. This effort popularized the cycling sport and make the racers interesting to the people who were not interested in cycling much. This tradition is still continuing today. Here the list of cyclists’ nicknames in alphabetical order (by surname, starting with H):

By Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

Andy Hampsten


Andy Hampsten climbing Passo di Gavia, Giro 1988
Andy Hampsten: “Ernie”. In the photo, Andy Hampsten is climbing up to Passo di Gavia at the Giro d’Italia 1988.

Andrew Hampsten (born April 7, 1962 in Columbus, Ohio) is an American former professional road bicycle racer who won the 1988 Giro d’Italia and the Alpe d’Huez stage of the 1992 Tour de France.

His Passo di Gavia ride at the 1988 Giro d’Italia was sensational. In the legendary stage fourteen of the 1988 Giro d’Italia with its crossing of the Aprica, a 120-kilometer trip partway up the Tonale and then a left turn up the south face of the Gavia pass with a final steep, technical descent into Bormio. The day was wet and cold. Until the start, the race director Vincenzo Torriani had been considering an alternate route because of the possibility of bad weather. It would end up being, in the words of La Gazzetta, “the day the big men cried.”

Over the first two climbs, the cold, wet riders stayed together. When they began ascending the Gavia with its patches of fifteen percent gradient (back then, only the Gavia’s switchback turns were paved), it began to snow and as the riders continued up the pass, it got ever colder. Johan Van der Velde, in just shorts and short sleeves, was first over the top. He was followed a few seconds later by Breukink, Hampsten and then by Chioccioli and Marco Giovannetti.

Breukink and Hampsten had dropped the Italians well before the summit and crested together. The conditions were appalling; the road was frozen and when the riders began the descent, their brakes wouldn’t work on the frozen rims. Some had their gears jammed up with ice. Van der Velde gave up, dismounted his bike, waited for warmer clothes to be brought from the team car and descended the steepest part of the pass on foot. He lost 47 minutes that day.

Hampsten and Breukink pressed on down the steep, icy descent and into Bormio where Breukink won the sprint.

Andy Hampsten became the first American, and non-European, to win the Giro d’Italia.

Roger Hassenforder

“The Clown”, “The Bandit”, “Rabid Hassen”, “boute-en-train”

Roger Hassenforder
Roger Hassenforder: “The Clown”, “The Bandit”, “Rabid Hassen”, “boute-en-train”

Roger Hassenforder (born 23 July 1930, in Sausheim) is a former French professional racing cyclist from Alsace. He was a professional cyclist from 1952 to 1965. He was known as the joker of the pack, earning him the nickname “boute-en-train”. He was known for his interviews during the course. His major victories as cyclist were in the Tour de France, but he did not win much in other races. His best years were 1955-1959, when he won eight stages in the Tour and wore the yellow jersey for four days.

After his cycling career ended, he opened a restaurant in Kaysersberg, that was a favorite meeting place for cycling fans in the 1960s, and is still run by the Hassenforder family (now his family owns also a hotel there).

Bernard Hinault

“Le Patron”, “Le Blaireau” (The Badger), “The shaving brush”

Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault: “Le Patron”, “Le Blaireau” (The Badger), “The shaving brush”.

Bernard Hinault (born 14 November 1954) won the Tour de France five times and remains the last French winner of the Tour. He is also one of only six cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours, and one of two cyclists to have won each more than once (the other being Alberto Contador). He won the Tour de France in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985. He came second in 1984 and 1986 and won 28 stages, of which 13 were individual time trials. The other three to have achieved five Tour de France victories are Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain; of these, Hinault is the only one to have finished either first or second in each Tour de France he finished.

Hinault was nicknamed Le Blaireau (either “the shaving brush” or “the badger”), as he would often don a hairband, thus resembling a shaving brush. However, his nickname is typically translated as “badger” by Anglophone cycling commentators and enthusiasts. In an interview in the French magazine Vélo, however, Hinault said the badger nickname had nothing to do with the animal. He said it was a local cyclists’ way of saying “mate” or “buddy” in his youth – “How’s it going, badger?” – and that it came to refer to him personally. According to Maurice Le Guilloux, a long-time team-mate of Hinault, he and Georges Talbourdet first used the nickname when the three riders trained together in their native Brittany in the early years of Hinault’s professional career.

Thor Hushovd * The Norwegian Bull,
The God of Thunder
Norway 18 Jan 1978
Luis “Lucho” Herrera The Little Gardener
(El Jardinerito)
Colombia 04 May 1964

Alfred Hamerlinck: Don Fredo
Albert Hendrickx: The Sock