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Five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault has tipped Chris Froome for a Tour win but said it’s still open.

The French champion - one of only five cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours - was in Huddersfield this morning ahead of this weekend’s Tour de France Grand Depart .

He said the focus for the cyclists will be on the race but described the supporting events like Le Phun - the St George’s Square French-themed farm - as “wonderful”.

 

Speaking to the Examiner Bernard Hinault said: “When you’re on the bicycle you just concentrate on what you have to do, really check out the road and observe your competitors, so you don’t think about everything else that’s around you.

“But this is exceptional.”

Asked who he thought would win the Tour, Hinault laughed and said: “That’s something else, it’s impossible to know there’s two competitors who are really key, like Froome.”

Bernard toured Le Phun, the farm that popped up overnight in St George’s Square , complete with cows and crops.

It’s part of the Yorkshire Festival and will disappear as quickly and quietly as it appeared.

Also a former farmer, Hinault had a farm in Brittany after he retired from the Tour, which he won in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985 and he remains the last French winner of the world’s greatest cycling race.

He met Kirklees Mayor Clr Ken Smith and mayoress Christine Smith, as well as councillors and event organisers.

He said of the St George’s Square farm: “It’s wonderful because you find things from the beginning of the century you haven’t seen for a while, it allows children to discover what farming’s about and produce that can be consumed at home.”

He spoke to the French farmers manning the pen and huts as excited children from Shepley First School looked on.

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