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The Battle of the Badger: LeMond, Hinault, and the 1986 Tour de France That Changed Cycling Forever


Slaying The Badger: A Riveting Tale of Rivalry and Glory in the Greatest Tour de France




If you are a fan of cycling, you probably know that the Tour de France is the most prestigious and grueling race in the sport. But do you know the story of one of the most dramatic and controversial editions of the race, when two teammates became bitter rivals and fought for victory until the end? That's what Slaying The Badger, a book by Richard Moore, tells you in captivating detail. And even if you are not a fan of cycling, you will find this book to be a fascinating account of human drama, ambition, betrayal, and triumph.




Slaying The Badger Greg LeMond Bernard Hinault And The Greatest Tour De France Book



The Background: How Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault Became Teammates and Foes




The Rise of LeMond: How a young American cyclist challenged the European dominance in the sport




Greg LeMond was born in 1961 in California, where he grew up riding bikes with his friends. He soon discovered his talent and passion for cycling, and decided to pursue it as a career. He moved to Europe, where he had to adapt to a different culture, language, and style of racing. He proved himself to be a prodigy, winning several races and earning respect from his peers. He was especially good at time trials, where he could use his aerodynamic position and powerful pedaling to speed ahead of his rivals.


The Reign of Hinault: How a French legend won five Tours de France and became the patron of the peloton




Bernard Hinault was born in 1954 in Brittany, where he grew up on a farm. He started cycling as a way to escape from his rural life, and soon showed his potential as a racer. He turned professional in 1975, and quickly rose to fame as one of the best cyclists of his generation. He was nicknamed "The Badger" for his fierce and aggressive personality, both on and off the bike. He won five Tours de France, as well as many other major races, and became the leader and the enforcer of the peloton, the main group of riders.


The Alliance: How LeMond and Hinault joined forces in the La Vie Claire team and what they promised each other




In 1984, LeMond and Hinault joined the same team, La Vie Claire, which was sponsored by a health food company and had a distinctive white and rainbow-colored jersey. They had a common interest in challenging the dominance of another team, Renault, which had won the previous three Tours de France. Hinault, who had left Renault after a dispute with his manager, wanted to win his fifth Tour and equal the record of Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx. LeMond, who had been offered a lucrative contract by La Vie Claire, wanted to help Hinault and learn from him. Hinault, who was 10 years older than LeMond, promised to support him in the future if he helped him win in 1984. LeMond agreed, and they became friends and allies.


The Betrayal: How Hinault Broke His Word and Attacked LeMond in the 1986 Tour de France




The Prelude: How Hinault suffered a crash and a comeback in the 1985 Tour and how he hinted at his intentions for the next year




The 1985 Tour de France was supposed to be Hinault's last, and LeMond's first real chance to win. However, things did not go as planned. Hinault crashed in the first stage, injuring his nose and ribs. He refused to abandon, and continued to race in pain. He lost time to his rivals, but managed to recover and take the yellow jersey, the symbol of the race leader. LeMond, who was in great form, had to wait for him and follow the team orders. He sacrificed his own chances to win, and helped Hinault secure his fifth Tour victory. Hinault publicly thanked him, and repeated his promise to help him the next year. But he also said that he would come back in 1986 to "give a spectacle", which raised some doubts about his true intentions.


The Battle: How Hinault launched a series of assaults on LeMond in the 1986 Tour, putting their team and their friendship to the test




The 1986 Tour de France was the most tense and thrilling edition of the race ever. Hinault, who had recovered from his injuries, showed up with a secret plan: to win his sixth Tour and break the record. He did not tell anyone, not even his team or his friend LeMond. He pretended to work for LeMond, but in fact he attacked him whenever he could, trying to gain time and wear him down. He used various excuses, such as chasing other rivals, testing his form, or creating a spectacle for the fans. He also used psychological warfare, telling the press that LeMond was weak and that he was the true leader of the team.


LeMond was shocked and angry by Hinault's betrayal, but he did not give up. He defended himself from Hinault's attacks, and proved to be stronger and smarter than him. He also had the support of most of his teammates, who respected him more than Hinault. He took the yellow jersey after a decisive time trial, and kept it until the end of the race.


The Aftermath: How LeMond survived Hinault's onslaught and became the first American to win the Tour de France




LeMond won the 1986 Tour de France by 3 minutes and 10 seconds over Hinault, who finished second. It was a historic achievement for LeMond, who became the first American and the first non-European to win the race. It was also a personal triumph over Hinault, who had tried to destroy him but failed. Hinault congratulated LeMond on the podium, and hugged him in front of the cameras. But it was a fake gesture, as their friendship was over.


LeMond's victory was also a turning point for cycling, as it marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Hinault retired after that year, leaving behind a legacy of glory and controversy. LeMond became the new star of the sport, inspiring a generation of cyclists from around the world. He went on to win two more Tours de France in 1989 and 1990.


The Legacy: How Slaying The Badger Captures the Essence of Cycling and the Tour de France




The Author: Who is Richard Moore and how did he research and write the book?




Richard Moore is a Scottish journalist and author who specializes in cycling The Sources: Who are the main characters and witnesses that Moore interviewed and what did they reveal?




Moore interviewed many of the people who were involved in or witnessed the 1986 Tour de France, including LeMond, Hinault, their teammates, their rivals, their managers, their families, and their friends. He also consulted various documents, such as newspaper articles, books, and video footage. He collected a wealth of information and insights that shed light on the events and the personalities of the protagonists. He also revealed some new facts and anecdotes that had not been known before, such as Hinault's secret plan, LeMond's health problems, and the role of doping in the race.


The Themes: What are the main topics and messages that Moore explores and conveys in the book?




Moore explores and conveys several themes in the book, such as: - The nature of cycling and the Tour de France: He shows how cycling is a sport that requires physical strength, mental toughness, tactical skill, and teamwork. He also shows how the Tour de France is a race that tests the limits of human endurance, challenges the rules of fair play, and captivates the imagination of millions of fans. - The contrast between LeMond and Hinault: He portrays LeMond as a modern, innovative, and likable cyclist who represents a new generation of riders from different backgrounds and cultures. He portrays Hinault as a traditional, conservative, and arrogant cyclist who represents an old generation of riders from a dominant nation and culture. - The complexity of friendship and rivalry: He depicts the relationship between LeMond and Hinault as a mixture of admiration, respect, trust, betrayal, resentment, and reconciliation. He shows how they influenced each other, competed with each other, and ultimately changed each other.


Conclusion: Why Slaying The Badger is a Must-Read for Cycling Fans and Non-Fans Alike




Slaying The Badger is a must-read for anyone who loves cycling or who wants to learn more about it. It is a book that tells a compelling story of one of the greatest sporting events ever. It is a book that reveals the human drama behind the sporting spectacle. It is a book that celebrates the beauty and the brutality of cycling and the Tour de France.


If you want to read Slaying The Badger, you can find it online or in your local bookstore. You can also watch a documentary film based on the book, which was released in 2014. And if you want to read more books by Richard Moore, you can check out his other works, such as In Search of Robert Millar, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes, Sky's The Limit, Etape, and The Bolt Supremacy.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Slaying The Badger:



  • When was Slaying The Badger published?



  • Slaying The Badger was first published in 2011 by Yellow Jersey Press.



  • How long is Slaying The Badger?



  • Slaying The Badger is 336 pages long.



  • Who narrated the documentary film based on Slaying The Badger?



  • The documentary film based on Slaying The Badger was narrated by Andy Samberg, an American actor and comedian who is a fan of cycling.



  • What is the meaning of the title Slaying The Badger?



  • The title Slaying The Badger is a metaphor for defeating Hinault, who was nicknamed "The Badger" for his fierce and aggressive personality.



  • What is the rating of Slaying The Badger on Goodreads?



  • Slaying The Badger has an average rating of 4.24 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, based on 2,357 ratings and 223 reviews.



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