Bernard Hinault’s Disco Fever

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Laurent Olivier Hinault Guimard

Bradley Wiggins is reaching audiences well beyond the circle of pro cycling with his guitar performances. For years he would take a guitar from race to race and now the effort looks worthwhile.

But he’s not the only Tour de France winner to get musical. The image above is a record sleeve with with five times Tour winner Bernard Hinault in a relaxed lean on the right of the image. Laurent Olivier is the “musician,” a term that merits quotation marks as you will discover below. Renault team manager Cyrille Guimard stands on the left.

Guimard is one of the sport’s best managers with a track record of success, innovation and more. Indeed Hinault might be the reigning Tour de France champion when the record was made in 1980 but the song is called La Bande à Guimard or “Guimard’s band.” It would be like making a track today called “Brailsford’s Bunch” and only letting Wiggins pose on the album artwork. Still, play the music for yourself and maybe Hinault was pleased to reduce his links to the track?

Guimard didn’t revel in the moment either. Interviewed by Le Parisien he said:

I don’t know how the idea came about… All I know is that it brought us nothing: neither popularity nor money. I never met the guy who made the record and he probably made some cash thanks to us. Back then it was fashionable to make records with famous sportsmen. Frankly it’s no masterpiece, more a caricature, something for folklore.

You can read the French lyrics over at

Tim December 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm

The lyrics are loud but the track, well it is catchy and reminds me of a few tunes.

Jan December 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Wiggins looks like a mod, at least! He could practically be playing with the Small Faces or something.

Bikenik December 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Made in 1980! Didn’t anyone tell them disco died in 1979.

Anonymous December 23, 2012 at 12:44 am

sounds like a great bit of euro pop to me, but then I have had a few sloe gins. 🙂

bikecellar December 23, 2012 at 12:47 am

eh, that was me, is it because I have changed my browser.

TheDude December 23, 2012 at 1:57 am

C’est Chic Le Freak -esque circa 1978

Mick December 23, 2012 at 3:52 am

The album cover made me cringe…I can’t “unsee” that… the music made my ears throw up …On that note…
What about Virenque (?) He must have recorded a album…

Kris December 23, 2012 at 8:14 am

and what about the late Marco Pantani? There’s even a videoclip of his song somewhere 😉

Santa December 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

A guilty pleasure!

Cevenol December 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm

What you talkin bout Willis!? Just a great track!

Buddenbrook December 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Err, call me confused, but if Guimard never met Olivier then who’s the guy with the groovy tache in the middle?

Bundle December 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Spot on. I would easily bet some money that Guimard, with his smug smile, got some bucks himself out of this (and that Hinault got none).

Guy H December 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

Seemed to borrow fairly heavily from the Gibson Brothers’ Cuba.

Tom December 24, 2012 at 2:56 am

Somewhere there’s a video of a 1960’s[?] French pop song about bicycles that includes go-go girls dancing in Peugeot jerseys around various Paris landmarks. Wish I still had the link. So cheesy.

roomservicetaco December 24, 2012 at 4:11 am

Tom, think you’re looking for this one:

Kjetil December 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

What has been seen…
Quite hilarious, actually.

Buddenbrook December 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm

God that was truly terrible.

Bikenik December 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Its the French version of PSY sans Gangnam Style…

Anonymous December 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

Not so bad pure French disco after all, where on earth does one unearth gems like this? The best thing is the picture. Hinault looks kind of embarrassed..

Mary Topping December 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for the link to the lyrics. I think they are great. I especially like the last two lines:
“Ils n’ont pas peur de souffrir
Pour l’amour de courir.”

They aren’t afraid to suffer
for the love of riding.

and how telling, this line: “Il faut à tout prix gagner” — You must win at any cost.

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