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

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

by Richard Moore


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The Tour de France is renowned for its chaos and drama. But no other Tour has quite compared to what played out in 1986. That year witnessed a show-stopping rivalry that had spectators across the world agog.

Greg LeMond, a fresh-faced and mercurial youngster, dubbed 'L'Américain', was a naïve Tour newcomer. Frenchman Bernard 'The Badger' Hinault was a 5-time winner and as tough as old boots.

Though polar opposites, they were both fiercely competitive, both equally brilliant. So why was the world shocked that they were at each other’s throats? They were meant to be teammates.

Their explosive rivalry broke every rule in the book. No one wins the Tour single-handed; out there your team counts for everything. After his previous year’s win Hinault had pledged his absolute support for LeMond, but as 1986 the Tour circled France, his constant attacks on his team-mate seemed like cold-blooded sabotage.

Why was Hinault putting LeMond in jeopardy? Would he crack under the pressure? Something sinister was going on, but no one knew quite what.

Slaying the Badger relives the adrenaline, the agony, the camaraderie, the betrayals, and the pure exhilaration of that epic year, as the biggest conundrum of Tour history is finally laid bare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934030875
Publisher: VeloPress
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 199,815
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents


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
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



What People are Saying About This

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." —

"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." —

"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


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Slaying the Badger: Greg Lemond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
joepa01 More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book (Nook) after seeing the ESPN 30-for-30 film. Very detailed and enlightening, especially the multiple interviews with a lot of different people involved in this gripping story. Not only is it great from a competitive cycling perspective, but also taps into national pride, sports at the highest level, and how the "passing of the torch" idea can become complicated. A tip of the cap to Greg and Kathy Lemond for their honesty and openness. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never read sports books, but this one held my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whhitefoot starts teaching Darkpaw about tansy. "What do you think its used for," she asks.