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Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France Paperback – May 1, 2012
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"[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" Â¦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" Â¦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" Â¦For those three interviews alone, Slaying the Badger is worth reading." Â - 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" Â¦A gripping read." - Blazin' Saddles, a blog from Eurosport.com
From the Back Cover
Tour de France, 1986: The battle lines are drawn. America's hope, Greg LeMond, fights to dethrone "the Badger," French hero Bernard Hinault.
Former world champion LeMond is gunning for his first Tour victory. Hinault is clawing his way toward a record-breaking sixth.
LeMond, mercurial and raw, struggles for recognition. Hinault, fiercely combative and relentlessly aggressive, wants to go out on top.
On his side, LeMond has two team allies. But Hinault has five.
And there's one other problem: They're on the same team.
Their explosive rivalry burned the rule book, shredded friendships, shattered careers, and destroyed convention. It also led to the greatest Tour de France ever raced, an epic, chaotic, confounding, and ultimately exhilarating war of pure adrenaline, cold-blooded calculation, and extraordinary athleticism.
Heroism, treachery, spectacle, controversy, betrayal: In detail and emotion, Richard Moore brilliantly reconstructs the mind-boggling story of the 1986 Tour de France, the greatest race of them all.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a great book. A great read about really what was the pivotal point in pro cycling in the modern era. Hinault represented the "old guard" of cycling. A figure so prominent an dominating that he was in fact the "patron of the peleton". Riders were in awe of him and often outright feared him. Some loved him, some hated him. LeMond represented the American invasion into one of the holy of holy European sports. Even though Jock Boyer had been there for years he wasn't a talent like LeMond. I always admired LeMond because he respected the sport and the traditions of sport. The 1980's to me represents the end of the "honest" cycling era. Sure there were doping issues during the 60's 70's and 80's (Delgado in '88) etc... But EPO really changed the sport and has ruined cycling IMO. I digress.
If you are a fan of bicycle racing and especially a fan of the Hinault, Fignon, LeMond, Roche, Kelly era of the 1980's this is a must read book. Moore goes way out of his way to write a fair and balanced book on what was, is, to many of us one of the greatest and most dramatic Tour de France races ever. Because of technology, sophisticated doping, and the money now involved in cycling racing like this no longer happens today. Cycling has become a sport of specialists and is orchestrated to the minute detail. Love him or hate him Hinault raced like few have after him.Read more ›
There's footage available on YouTube the year following Lemond's torpedoing of Boyer's effort in the World Championship Road Race the year before (1982) in which he basically says that Boyer needed to 'prove he was the strongest' if he expected to win... words that were used verbatim by Hinault in 1986.
SEE on YouTube: 1983 World Road Cycling Championships Men's Road Race Part 1/2 (SEE: minute 8:50)
Why Greg Lemond should not be held to the same standard Greg Lemond held Boyer to just 3 years earlier is a mystery to me. The parallels with Lemond's conduct as teammate in 1986 could not be more obvious. Here for the first time we get a glimpse into Lemond's etiquette when it comes to working with teammates. Even (or especially) teammates must prove they are the strongest if they expect to win.
I found it amusing that a jounalist of the time felt Boyer had no chance, but Sean Kelly - who was in the peloton when Boyer attacked - felt he had a good chance. The author dismissed this fact by pointing out that Boyer had recently signed onto the same team as Kelly... the implication being that Kelly was just telling Boyer what he wanted to hear at the time. How does the author substantiate this charge? Does he ask Sean Kelly if that was the case?Read more ›
I didn't know much about this topic before reading this book so there is a possibility that if you were alive during the tour and or an avid cycling fan you might already know a great deal of the information presented. In addition, even though I knew LeMond won this tour (spoiler alert?) I didn't know how each stage played out (minus L'Alpe d'Huez) so reading about each stage was very engrossing and held my attention very well.
The only addition I would like to see is more history about the participants after the 1986 tour. Moore comments on this a little bit but not as in depth as the history before the tour. It'd be interesting to really see how this particular tour shaped not only the individuals but ultimately the sport.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Moore tries not to be biased towards either one of the athletes and other 'personalities' in the book, even though that is not always quite achieved. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M. Geissel
Excellent story, great writing - worth the journey for those who want to understand struggles in male-dominated sport leadership.Published 2 months ago by Richard
A detailed account of the thoughts and actions that happened behind the scenes. A much richer understanding of how the race evolved and the different personalities and influences... Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Roberts
The details behind the headlines.
Very engaging to read. Gives you and understanding of the men and their roles at the time.
Insights into an epic battle by two of the greatest riders to ever race the TDF. The author has pulled together material from a variety of sources and meaningful interviews with... Read morePublished 8 months ago by UtahPhotoGuy
Great read if you follow cycling and want to know some of the backstory!Published 9 months ago by Bklyn Gal