(born 5 February
, West Yorkshire
) was an English
during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He holds the records for the most stage wins in the Tour de France
by a British rider, winning eight between 1967 to 1975, and 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 only Briton to have won two consecutive stages of the Tour until Mark Cavendish
won stages 12 and 13 of the 2008 edition.
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. In the 1967 Tour de France, after the death of Tom Simpson, Hoban was allowed to win the next stage. Two year later, in 1969, Hoban married Simpson's widow.
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. Mark Cavendish being the second to equal this achievement in 2008
- 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
. 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
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, a common practice of retired racing cyclists.