In bad weather, they say that most riders are beaten before the race begins. So it proved in the 1980 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which was affected by an abysmal snow storm from start to finish. After an hour of racing, half the field had dropped out. After two hours, just sixty were still on their bikes.
While most riders, wearing inadequate woollen gloves and jerseys, were simply surviving, Bernard Hinault was attacking, distancing the others with 80km left. In temperatures close to freezing, the Badger pressed on and eventually crossed the line with a staggering 10-minute gap. Of the 174 riders who set off from Liège that morning, only twenty would finish. To this day, Hinault has limited feeling in the tips of his fingers, battle scars from a day that helped forge his legend.