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

( 5 )

Overview

Bernard Hinault is "Le Blaireau," the Badger. Tough as old boots, he is the old warrior of the French peloton, as revered as he is feared for his ferocious attacks. He has won 5 Tours de France, marking his name into the history books as a member of cycling's most exclusive club.

Yet as the 1986 Tour de France ascends into the mountains, a boyish and friendly young American named Greg LeMond threatens the Badger—and France’s entire cycling ...

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

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Overview

Bernard Hinault is "Le Blaireau," the Badger. Tough as old boots, he is the old warrior of the French peloton, as revered as he is feared for his ferocious attacks. He has won 5 Tours de France, marking his name into the history books as a member of cycling's most exclusive club.

Yet as the 1986 Tour de France ascends into the mountains, a boyish and friendly young American named Greg LeMond threatens the Badger—and France’s entire cycling heritage. Known as "L'Américain," the naïve Tour newcomer rides strongly, unafraid.

The stakes are high. Winning for Hinault means capping his long cycling career by becoming the first man to win the Tour six times. For LeMond, a win will bring America its first Tour de France victory. So why does their rivalry shock the world?

LeMond and Hinault ride for the same team.

Asked by a reporter why he attacked his own teammate, the Badger replies, "Because I felt like it." and "If he doesn't buckle, that means he's a champion and deserves to win the race. I did it for his own good."

LeMond becomes paranoid, taking other riders' feed bags in the feed zone and blaming crashes on sabotage. Through it all, with the help of his American teammate Andy Hampsten, LeMond rides like a champion and becomes the first American to win the Tour de France. His win signals the passing of cycling's last hide-bound generation and the birth of a new breed of riders.

In Slaying the Badger, award-winning author Richard Moore traces each story line to its source through innumerable interviews—not only with LeMond and Hinault in their own homes but also with teammates, rivals, race directors, journalists, sponsors, and promoters. Told from these many perspectives, the alliances, tirades, and broken promises divulged in Slaying the Badger build to the stunning climax of the 1986 Tour de France. Slaying the Badger is an incomparably detailed and highly revealing tale of cycling's most extraordinary rivalry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Slaying the Badger is] a gripping narrative of this psychological and physical three-week war." — Wall Street Journal

“Rich in drama and emotion. As racing books go, Moore’s book just might be the greatest ever.” — Outside magazine

"From the opening pages, this is a book that grips. Combining great insight, interviews and anecdotes with wonderfully vivid writing, it is thoroughly researched and well written." — Scotland on Sunday

"[Slaying the Badger offers] intriguing insight into one of professional cycling's greatest rivalries...Where Slaying the Badger succeeds is in making such a well-known story so readable." — BikeRadar.com

"Richard Moore's excellent new book Slaying the Badger reexamines the mythology of this great race, attempting to shed new light on the motivations of these two great riders and what really happened on the roads of France in the summer of '86. What helps set Moore's book apart is the array of characters he brings to the story...A thrilling read." — Red Kite Prayer

"[Moore assembles] a stellar cast of interviewees, about twenty in all…The stars are, inevitably, Hinault and LeMond themselves, both with their own memories of what did and did not happen. But they're almost outshone by three of the supporting cast...For those three interviews alone, Slaying the Badger is worth reading.” — Podium Cafe

"Both men invite Moore into their homes: a privilege that clearly took some badger-like tenacity to secure. But it was worth the effort as Moore gains fresh insight into the rivalry." — East Anglian Daily Times

"Captivating...Slaying the Badger is a mixture of clear-eyed journalistic analysis and unashamed nostalgia." — The Times Literary Supplement

"Masterly, relevant and intriguing." — Washingmachinepost.net

"Moore entertainingly unravels the complexities of the relationships within the peloton." — Guardian

"Moore magnificently offers a fresh perspective, bringing alive this supreme tussle...A gripping read." — Blazin' Saddles, a blog from Eurosport.com

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934030875
  • Publisher: VeloPress
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 221,375
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar, won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes, was long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. He writes on cycling and sport and is a regular contributor to the Guardian, Sky Sports and The Scotsman. He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

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Table of Contents

Prologue

PART ONE: DÉPART

1. The Badger

2. The Cannibal is dead, long live le Blaireau

3. L’Américain

4. A Great Champion but a Small Man

5. Changing of the Guard

6. The Kooky Professor

7. The Million-Dollar Man

8. The Case of the Broken Ray-Bans

PART TWO: ARRIVÉE

9. The Bulldog and the Bird

10. Who is Bernard Tapie?

11. The American Invasion

12. You Blew it, Bernie

13. The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

14. A Two-Headed Eagle

15. Born in the USA

Epilogue

Afterword

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2012

    Exceptional book - perhaps the best piece of cycling journalism

    Exceptional book - perhaps the best piece of cycling journalism in long-format since Samuel Abt's 1990 "In High Gear." Moore's book transcends Tour de France press, however, and Slaying the Badger is a tale of intrigue and high-drama that will satisfy the most-discerning palate! Yet it's accessible enough for the casual fan or cycling-neophyte. Read it while watching "chickasmith's" Youtube channel, where he's collected all of the 1986 Tour de France coverage by Channel 4 in UK, and it's like you're there w/ Moore himself, who was probably imagining being on the road w/ Hinault and LeMond! Five-stars, buy two copies - one for yourself and one to give as a gift to a cycling fan close to your heart. Warning: not recommended for fans of Lance Armstrong, who will be crushingly-disappointed to realize how false an idol their hero is, in comparison to true Kings of the Road like Hinault and LeMond, Hampsten, Bauer and Robert Millar...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Excellent story of the dynamic of these two riders.

    Unlike one reviewer I loved the backstory of these riders. You actually learned a bit more about them other than just the racing. The dynamics of team politics, personal drives and motivations all intertwined to give us the best race of the decade. Now thanks to Moore you know the rest of the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Darkpaw and Whitefoot

    Whhitefoot starts teaching Darkpaw about tansy. "What do you think its used for," she asks.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Not worth the money

    I bought this book because the subject matter is so exciting, the history fascinating, and the race so incredibly suspensful. Thus book captures none of that and gives away the punch line in a very bland and uninteresting fashion in the first few pages. If you are going to write about the most exciting parts of the race in the first chapter, at least do it in a way that makes it sound as excitng as it was. The author's style is difficult to follow with breaks in almost every sentence. I'm not sure if i will even finish this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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