Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France

Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France

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cycling, , cycling, cycling-and-running, general-non-fiction, audiobook, cycling, 2011, r2019, sports, gorrit, non-fiction, Sports, Nonfiction, Biography, History, Cultural, Transport, Adventure, Biography Memoir

The Tour de France is sport's most compelling battle -- an annual cauldron of heroism and treachery, spectacle and controversy, mind-games and endurance.

But the 1986 Tour stands out as the year in which a show-stopping rivalry had spectators across the world gripped.

When Greg LeMond -- a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Californian boy, dubbed 'L'American' -- won the 1986 Tour, he made history. The first non-European to win the Yellow Jersey, he broke the Old World stranglehold and changed the face of the competition.

But LeMond's victory was hard won. It was seemingly snatched from the jaws of the man ominously dubbed 'The Badger'. Frenchman Bernard 'Le Blaireau' Hinault was five times winner of the Tour and as tough as boots. After winning the 1985 Tour, in which LeMond came a close second, Hinault vowed to return for one final Tour, and with a single purpose: to help LeMond win.

But could Hinault be trusted? As the race circled France, he repeatedly attacked LeMond. Hinault claimed to the press that his apparent treachery was merely intended to make LeMond stronger. But LeMond, who didn't believe him, became increasingly fearful, anxious and paranoid.

The Tour is renowned for its psychological complexity - but what played out in 1986 was unheard of. Why was Hinault putting his own teammate in jeopardy? Would LeMond crack under the pressure? Something sinister was going on but no one - not even LeMond -- knew quite what.

Slaying the Badger relives the adrenaline, the agony, the camaraderie, the betrayals, and the pure exhilaration of the 1986 Tour. Richard Moore has interviewed all the key players including the story's two enigmatic, eccentric and fiercely different protagonists. As he delves behind the scenes, the biggest conundrum of Tour history is finally laid bare.

Title:Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780224082907
Format Type:

    Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France Reviews

  • Adrian

    I cannot believe it is 5 years since I read this, maybe time for a re-read ?But before then this review is part of my never ending job of writing reviews for books that I neglected by not writing anyt...

  • James

    It's hard to imagine a more 'explosive' start to a book about a rivalry between two of the greatest cyclists than the story of LeMond heading back to the team bus with diarrhoea only to find the porta...

  • Steve

    Alas, a familiar - in many ways, iconic - story subjected to an uninspired re-telling. Accordingly, a source of disappointment (but entertaining enough that it wasn't a burden to get through it).In al...

  • Forest Collins

    This year I decided to follow the Tour de France. I didn't want to slog through something as (potentially?) boring as TdF for dummies, but still wanted to learn a bit more about it, so I picked up Sla...

  • Raja Ram

    Really enjoyed this in the end!For me the book improved - from the part before they joined the same team and the part after!The part plotting the early lives of Lemond and Hinault didn't really flow, ...

  • Tom Fish

    This is one of my favourite books and was a re-read, something I'm doing a lot of at the moment.I love the way this book tells the story of the various protagonists of that 1986 Tour, and provides con...

  • Jeff Kim

    2021 is upon us, and what a brilliant book to close out the year 😊. As an avid cyclist and cycling fan, this was pure brain candy for me....

  • Robert Ritzinger

    This book was captivating in its story but simple when you boiled it down to one simple truth. Even that one simple truth belies an easy, pithy explanation. The truth is Bernard Hinault lied. Bernard ...

  • Nick Sweeney

    The Badger, or Le Blaireau, was the nickname given to Bernard Hinault, five-times winner of the Tour de France, and the man on whom French cycling’s hopes rested for the whole period of his dominanc...

  • Rob

    As much as the Damned United can be read as a book about industrial relations this is a story of complex colleague relationships. Painted by many as a simple story of a broken promise, Moore reveals a...