MANY of us will have spent the weekend watching the best cyclists in the world take on the famous Tour de France stages.

For one Newtown resident the gruelling stages became home from home during the 1960s and 70s.

Barry Hoban was born in Wakefield in 1940 and became famous as the long time record holder for the most stage wins in the Tour de France by a British rider, winning eight between 1967 and 1975.

He holds the joint record for the most Tours completed by a British rider – having finished 11 of the 12 he started between 1965 and 1978 and was also the first Briton to win two consecutive stages of the Tour.

His accomplishments would be unmatched until Mark Cavendish in 2008, twice in 2009 and once in 2010, and by Geraint Thomas in 2018.

Hoban went to France in 1962, turned professional two years later, and stayed abroad for another 16 years.

He rode for Mercier-Hutchinson-BP where his team leader was Raymond Poulidor who is famous for coming second three times in the Tour de France but never winning.

He competed in the team pursuit at the 1960 Summer Olympics and 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 in 1969 and Paris–Roubaix in 1972.

Towards the end of a career spent largely in mainland Europe, Hoban occasionally returned to the UK to race; he won the London-Bradford race and was second in the British professional road-race championship in 1979, and he won the Grand Prix of Manchester in 1980.

He moved to Newtown following his retirement and remained in the cycling industry and work with the factory that built his frames, Coventry Cycles.

In 2009 he was inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame.