Five-time Tour de France winner to participate in Cycle Zydeco 2 - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Five-time Tour de France winner to participate in Cycle Zydeco 2018

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Celebrated French cyclist Bernard Hinault will join Cycle Zydeco, Louisiana's Cajun and Creole Cycling Festival, this spring to foster relations between Lafayette and Brittany, France while also raising funds for a cancer charity Hinault supports.

Bernard Hinault is a retired French professional cyclist with numerous accolades, including five Tour de France victories. He is one of only six cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours and one of two cyclists to have won each more than once. He won the Tour de France in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985. He remains the last French winner of the Tour de France.

Breizh Amerika, an organization which fosters relations between Brittany, France, and the United States, is bringing Hinault to Lafayette to cultivate this connection. Hinault, who is from Brittany, will ride Cycle Zydeco April 4-8 to raise awareness and funds for Souffles d' Espoir le Cancer. Through the sport of cycling and relationships with cyclists, this organization collects donations to benefit the fight against cancer.

Cycle Zydeco has been a key supporter of many local organizations over the years, including TRAIL (a nonprofit dedicated to creating better outdoor recreations in Louisiana), the Evangeline Area Boy Scouts, and various academic and civic organizations. Cycle Zydeco will add Souffles d' Espoir to its list of beneficiaries.

"Cycle Zydeco exists to benefit a number of organizations in the Acadiana area, but what we are known for is being the most unique bicycle tour and the best party on two wheels. We're humbled and grateful that Mr. Hinault is joining us, and we cannot wait to show him how we live it up in South Louisiana," said Scott Schilling, Executive Director of Cycle Zydeco and TRAIL. 

The first Cycle Zydeco was held in 2002 and was organized by Joan and Dick Williams, the original owners of Pack and Paddle, and the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission. The Williams were interested in furthering the sport of cycling in Acadiana, and LCVC wanted to help create an event to attract this niche market.

"As the founding organization of Cycle Zydeco, we are extremely excited to see this partnership with Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault come to fruition after months of discussions. Given Mr. Hinault's reputation in the cycling world, we believe this will help drive more attendees to participate in Cycle Zydeco, which is a great showcase of the outdoors, food and music of our area. We also want to thank TRAIL for the great work they have done to bring Cycle back as well as our friends from Brittany, France, Charles Kergaravat and Breizh Amerika who helped make this happen. We look forward to continuing to work with all of these partners in the future to continue to grow the event," said Ben Berthelot, President and CEO of LCVC.

Cycle Zydeco is the largest bicycle tour in Louisiana and a premier touring ride in the U.S. The ride travels through the region of Acadiana and celebrates the Cajun and Creole culture of the area. Brittany, France, and the Acadiana regions have a deep historical connection with many descendants of Brittany living in South Louisiana.

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