On July 18 1968 Yorkshireman Barry Hoban became the first British cyclist ever to win a mountain stage in the Tour de France.

Hertfordshire’s Michael Wright had won a stage in the Vosges the previous year, but it featured only two climbs, the highest being the Col du Donon at 727 metres.

Hoban’s win was carved out of the Alps, riding solo over the Col des Aravis at 1486 metres, Col de la Colombière at 1613 metres, before finishing on the Col du Cordon under the giant white bulk of Mont Blanc.

His victory margin was an impressive four minutes and six seconds over former World Championship silver medallist (1972), the Italian road champion, Franco Bitossi.

To celebrate the occasion, of Hoban’s success, on its anniversary, Wednesday July 18, Lamb and Associates (Financial Planners) of Ponteland will host an ‘Evening with Barry Hoban’ at Start Cycles, 35-37 Market Street, Newcastle.

Mr Lamb, who recently attended the National Championships in Northumberland, said of the upcoming event: “When I heard that it was the 50th Anniversary (of Hoban’s victory) I just had to do something to mark such a great occasion.

“I’m proud to be able to bring a legend of British cycling to the north-east later this month.”

At the event Barry will talk about this landmark victory and about the rest of his career, during which he raced against some of the all-time greats.

Hoban was born in Yorkshire, but after a glittering amateur cycling career moved to France in 1962 to race as an independent.

In 1964 he turned professional for Mercier-BP, one of the biggest teams in France, and raced at the top of the sport until 1979, while living first in France then in Belgium.

He would win a total of eight Tour de France stages, and is second only to Mark Cavendish in the all-time British stage winner list, one stage ahead of Chris Froome.

He is still the only British winner of Ghent-Wevelgem, one of the ‘classic’ races and he had top three placings in many others, including two of the biggest; Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“I’m looking forward to talking about that stage, and about the rest of my career,” added Barry of the anniversary event.

“It all still seems like yesterday, and I particularly remember the uphill bits, and there was plenty of uphill on that stage 50 years ago.”

Hoban’s autobiography, Vas-y Barry is his cycling story.

It’s written by Barry from his heart and with clear recall of what it was like, physically and mentally, riding against three of the all-time greats of cycling; Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, and the iconic Belgian, Eddy Merckx.

Each one was the definitive rider of his generation. Hoban also raced against Rik Van Looy, Rudi Altig, Felice Gimondi, and with team mates Raymond Poulidor, Tom Simpson and Joop Zoetemelk. All of whom are names that resonate with knowledgeable cycling fans.

What’s more, Hoban did all this as a pioneer, very often the only British representative in the world’s biggest bike races.

Barry Hoban made a place in men’s professional road racing at a time when very few had. It’s a place that is still remembered with affection today.

He welcomes questions from the audience, and signed copies of his autobiography Vas-y Barry, published by www.cyclinglegends.co.uk will also be on sale at the venue.

An Evening with Barry Hoban takes place on Wednesday July 18 from 7pm with a 7:30pm start, at Start Cycles, Newcastle; tickets for the event are available now from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-barry-hoban-tickets-47296441931 priced at £15.